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A desperate plea to save the life of Kayban Jamshaad

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Mother Shizleen Aishath is urgently seeking the medical care required to keep her son alive (Screenshot via YouTube)

The Australian immigration department has denied a visa to an infant in desperate need of medical treatment in our country, writes Suresh Rajan.

I HAVE WRITTEN extensively in various media about the sheer bastardry that our governments have continued to perpetrate in shutting the door on applicants with disability seeking permanent residency in this country.

It is appropriate to accuse Australian governments (Liberal or Labor) of practising a form of eugenics in their approach to disability (particularly around immigration).

Eugenics is defined as:

‘…the science of improving the human species by selectively mating people with specific desirable hereditary traits. It aims to reduce human suffering by “breeding out” disease, disabilities and so-called undesirable characteristics from the human population.’

In reference to immigration, we practice eugenics by ensuring that people with disability (PWD) are not permitted to come to this country and somehow “infect” our otherwise “pristine” (non-disabled) population.

In recent years, the numbers of these cases that seem to be prosecuted on a daily basis is growing exponentially. I can’t categorically state whether the number of cases has grown or whether the social media coverage has made me more aware of them. I have sought the assistance of some of the crossbench members of Parliament to access that information to no avail.

Let me now tell you about Shizleen Aishath and Jamshaad Ahmad. They came to Australia from the Maldives and settled in Bunbury, WA, in 2013, accompanied by their first child. Shizleen had qualified for a scholarship to further her studies in social work.

In Shizleen’s own words:

“We had no intention of staying, especially living in a developed country – I worked for United Nations Development Programme of the Maldives for almost seven years prior to coming here and have always been starstruck by the amazing work that they do – so our plan was always to end up somewhere where we could work in U.N. projects. The only reason I came here was to get my social work qualifications.”

In 2014, the couple were blessed by the birth of a daughter. And in 2016, a son, Kayban, was born.

From a petition about his immigration status comes this information:

Kayban Jamshaad has severe haemophilia — a bleeding disorder which stops blood clotting — and an acquired brain injury, which occurred when he was born at St John of God Bunbury Hospital in Western Australia.

 

He requires weekly medication for his haemophilia and round-the-clock care to manage spastic quadriplegia, visual impairment, seizure disorder and developmental delays arising from his brain injury.

 

Medical specialists said the Maldives was not equipped to manage Kayban's complex health needs and forcing him to live there would most likely be fatal.

Again from the petition comes this additional information:

Doctors sound grave warnings.

 

In a letter provided to the Department of Home Affairs, his rehabilitation physician warned that without proper care, Kayban would likely suffer a severe shortening of his muscles and joints, curvature of the spine, osteoporosis, with a high risk of pathological fractures, hip dislocation, malnutrition, respiratory failures and premature death.

 

WA Health's Haemophilia Service also advised the department that the Maldives does not have the resources or systems in place to provide adequate treatment.

 

Despite those warnings, the department ruled there was not enough documentary evidence, or “compelling” and “compassionate” circumstances, to grant Kayban a health waiver that would allow him to stay.

And in Shizleen’s own words:

However, things happen and plans change, which is what happened to us when what happened with Kayban happened and we almost lost him and we knew we could not take him home as home is not set up to care for a child with the level of complex medical needs that Kayban presents. We can’t also take him to any other country as no other country would accept Kayban with his high care needs.

 

Almost three years on, we are still fighting to stay in the country so Kayban can access the care he is being denied on the basis of a cost to the taxpayer that has never incurred and will not incur should he be granted the visa as he is not eligible for Medicare. Having said this, we will get there. I have faith and hope (an awful lot of it) plus a lot of belief in people power.

Shizleen always intended to go back to somewhere that was considered a developing nation and continue her amazing and compassionate work to help others. However, when Kayban was born with the issues he had to contend with, she realised that Kayban’s future existence was dependent on access to medical and disability care that was only available in some countries. Australia is one of those countries.

A quick reassessment meant that the family applied for visas to continue living here. Immigration, with its usual level of sheer bastardry, granted visas to all bar Kayban, then 2½ years old. It is hard to come to terms with such a bizarre decision.

Having dealt with a number of cases of this nature in the past, we know that the only option for the family is to seek the intervention of Immigration Minister David Coleman and the application of his discretion. However, this cannot come about without them having exhausted all avenues of appeal. The tribunal application has been lodged. That process is expensive and time consuming. It may take up to 18 months for the matter to be listed for hearing. The hearing will be a complete waste of time as the Tribunal Member will reiterate that he/she has no capacity to change the fact that this discriminatory approach is enshrined in our Migration Act. Then the matter will be referred to the Minister for his application of discretion.

If it does get referred by the bureaucracy (no guarantee on this) to the Minister, they will decide the issue. Based on what I have dealt with in the past, we know that the Minister looks at the issue of whether it is “in the public interest” to have the family here. Again, based on what we have seen in the past, the Minister has shown himself to be swayed by the number of signatures we can get on a petition and the contributions made by family members in Australia.

In this case, Shizleen is working in the NDIS sector. There is a lack of qualified and willing employees in that space and this would therefore be very much in the family’s favour.

It is therefore imperative that we get as many signatures as possible on the petition. So whilst we fight the bigger fight of a change to the legislation, let us assist the family as much as possible by signing their petition. That can be accessed HERE.

Suresh Rajan is a former president of the Ethnic Communities Council of Western Australia. He is a regular contributor on the subject of multiculturalism to media in Perth and has been for many years.

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