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HIV-infected NRI stuck in Bahrain

The Indian labourer waits for Indian govt permission before returning to his native Andhra Pradesh.
None | By Indo-Asian News Service, Dubai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 23, 2006 02:16 PM IST

An Indian labourer in Bahrain, who has been infected with HIV, will have to wait a little longer before he is sent home.

Muthanna Poshanna, hailing from Andhra Pradesh, is currently undergoing treatment at the Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) here, according to a report in the Gulf Daily News newspaper.

The report quoted Indian embassy officials here as saying that, without Poshanna's passport or CPR (Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) card, they cannot start processing his emergency travel documents without any proof of nationality. Poshanna claims that his passport was taken away by his Bahraini sponsor who then left him to find work.

According to Bahraini rules, non-Bahrainis with HIV must immediately leave the country.

The 46-year-old patient also suffers from tuberculosis, which was discovered along with the HIV, when friends took him to the SMC on February 1, when he fell so ill he was unable to move.

Poshanna, who claims that he came to Bahrain on a free visa in 1991, is not aware that he has been infected with HIV. It is not known how he acquired the virus.

Surya Charitable and Cultural Association (SCCA) general secretary and Indian Community Relief Fund (ICRF) treasurer K.R. Nair met with immigration authorities earlier this week to determine exactly when Poshanna came to Bahrain, according to the report.

Nair was quoted as saying that embassy officials have already sent a letter to the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. They are also hoping that his family will be able to send documents to Bahrain.

Poshanna was unable to go home to see his wife, who died of cancer three months ago. His three children have grown up without him.

Poshanna has now shown signs of improvement, Nair told the newspaper.

Doctors also confirmed that he was now fit enough to travel back to India, as long as he is escorted throughout the flight, the report said, and added that donors who read the patient's plight in the newspaper have come forward and donated funds, including two air tickets to India for him and an escort.

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