As we speak, on Manus Island

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As we speak, on Manus Island

Postby mothra » 04 Aug 2018, 13:42

Going blind, begging for painkillers: Manus medical neglect continues
After ‘systemic failures’ were found to have caused Hamid Kehazaei’s death, more critical cases are being left untreated

Days after a coroner found “systemic failures” caused the death of Hamid Kehazaei on Manus Island, doctors say healthcare on the island is the worst it has been. Guardian Australia has learned of at least two critical cases being left untreated: one man faces permanent blindness and another has been five days with a suspected fractured femur, given only Panadol and a bandage.

Doctors say more refugees under Australia’s care will die if healthcare is not reformed.

Iraqi refugee Mohammed Hamza Hussein, who lost sight in one eye when he was beaten with a post during the 2014 attack on the Manus detention centre is now going blind in his other eye.

Ophthalmologists have said he requires urgent intervention – including treatments not available on Manus Island – in order to save his sight.

“I’m the father of four girls,” 46-year-old Hussein, a former Iraqi policeman, told Guardian Australia through an interpreter, “but I’ve been locked up here for five years ... I want to be able to see my family again.”

Last week, Hussein attempted suicide, and survived only after friends intervened. Serious concerns remain for his deteriorating mental health.

In a separate case, Somalian refugee Abdikaldeawe Abdisalam has been living with a a suspected broken femur for five days following an accident playing football. He has not been x-rayed and given only Panadol and a bandage as treatment.

In both cases, doctors have implored the government to allow the men to urgently be treated in Australian healthcare facilities.

‘I beg you, please help me’

On the night of February 17, 2014, the Manus Island detention centre was invaded by guards and rioters from outside, who attacked those held inside. Reza Barati was murdered by at least two guards, and Hussein was beaten into unconsciousness with a wooden post, causing massive injuries to his face.

Hussein has not been able to see with his right eye since.

Four years on, Hussein, who is also diabetic, is now losing sight in his left eye. His vision has been reduced to only just being able to count fingers held up to that eye.

The most recent doctor’s report, written this month and shared with Guardian Australia, stated:

“Poor visual prognosis in the right eye. The eye is blind and there is no treatment. He needs counselling for this.

“Vision in the left is getting worse. It is most probably diabetic maculopathy. He needs urgent OCT (Optical coherence tomography – an imaging test) and an anti-VEGF injection (used to treat retinal and macular conditions).”

Neither of those tests is available on Manus Island.

Hussein has told friends on Manus and advocates in Australia he fears going blind.

“I beg the Australian prime minister and immigration minister: I have lost one of my eyes, and now I am losing another eye and I’m going to be blind. I plead to whomever … to help me. I don’t want to be blind. I beg you, please help me.”

Ophthalmologist Dr Hessom Razavi treated Hussein twice on Manus, in 2015 and 2016. He said his deteriorating physical health caused him immense mental anguish.

The injury to Hussein’s right eye was a severe trauma, Razavi told Guardian Australia. The impact on his eye was “like being in a car crash” and the loss of sight irreversible.

“When I saw him he was absolutely distraught, and very fearful about his other eye. Every time I saw Mohammed, he was in tears every time: a grown man, slumped over crying.”

Razavi said when a patient loses sight in one eye, they become “VIP patients”, requiring additional check-ups to ensure the remaining eye maintains good vision.

“But in the system over there, that follow-up just doesn’t happen. And the technology that you would use to do those checks just doesn’t exist.

“Mohammed doesn’t have regular access to an appropriate level of care. A person in the worst situation in Australia would have better access to care.”

Razavi said there were “good people, working hard” on Manus to assist Hussein, but the offshore system was deeply flawed and dangerous. He said Australia held a clear moral obligation to provide Hussein with the care he needed.

Razavi has said he is willing to treat Hussein if he can come to Australia.

‘It could threaten his life’

Somalian refugee Abdisalam, who has been on Manus for five years, is at risk of losing his leg or dying from compartment syndrome, doctors say, if his suspected broken femur continues to be left untreated.

Image

There is currently no working x-ray machine on Manus Island to determine whether he has broken his femur, and how badly.

Since the withdrawal of IHMS from Manus, healthcare for refugees and asylum seekers in the Australian-run camps is provided by a clinic run by the Pacific International hospital (PIH).

The PIH clinic was closed when Abdisalam injured himself on Friday. On Saturday, he went to the Lorengau hospital, where he waited several hours before being told to return Monday for an x-ray.

On Monday, when Abdisalam returned to the hospital, he was told the x-ray machine was broken. He went back to the PIH clinic at the refugee centre but was told by the doctor he could not be treated unless he had an x-ray. When he told the doctor “I will stay here until you solve the problem”, the doctor called security and had him ejected.

In a formal complaint to camp manager JDA Wokman, Abdisalam begged for painkillers.

“I cannot sleep day or night because of that horrible pain that none of you can ever imagine. The pain kills me every minute ... all I see is just pain. The leg is broken, and the fracture in the bone is not yet medically dealt with. Please, I need desperately emergency medical assistance.”

The precise details of the Pacific International hospital’s contract with the Australian government are not known. However, the latest government contract to the PIH – for “comprehensive health services” but for just 42 days – was more than $4.8 million, or more than $110,000 a day.

Dr David Berger, a specialist in remote and emergency medicine and an executive committee member with Doctors for Refugees, said if Abdisalam has fractured his femur, he is at risk of pulmonary emobulus or fat embolus “both potentially – and likely – life-threatening conditions”. He is also at risk of compartment syndrome, which can cut off blood supply to the limb.

“It’s extremely urgent, he’s got a condition that threatens his leg, and if it’s untreated, it could threaten his life. It’s that serious,” Berger said.

“This is Kehazaei 2.0,” Berger said. “This is a case where somebody with an urgent condition does not have their case escalated. And we have seen, delays in treatment are threatening to life.”

‘Scandalous’ medical neglect

Berger said in the wake of Queensland coroner Terry Ryan’s findings this week on the 2014 death of Hamid Kehazaei, the continued medical neglect of people to whom Australia owed a legal duty of care was “scandalous”.

Ryan was scathing of the healthcare provided to those held in offshore processing. He said “multiple errors” – including not having basic antibiotics to treat common tropical infections – and “systemic failures” such as doctors’ orders being ignored or overruled by non-medically trained bureaucrats – in Kehazaei’s care caused his death.

Ryan said Australia was responsible for Kehazaei’s “preventable” death, and recommended healthcare be improved to a standard comparable with Australia, or people moved off the offshore islands.

Berger said there had been a significant reduction in the quality of healthcare on Manus Island since the departure of IHMS last year.

“PIH has taken over primary healthcare, but does not do as good a job and we have no mechanism to raise concerns with them. The Lorengau hospital is in an appalling state, often without even a functioning ECG machine or x-ray machine, as now.

“It is safe to say there is no functioning healthcare in any form that an Australian would recognise and no way to escalate concerns in any manner, let alone a timely manner. These cases are not isolated ones.”

A Manusian man died in Lorengau hospital last week after presenting with chest pains. He died after several hours without seeing a doctor, island sources told Guardian Australia.

Berger has written directly to the Department of Home Affairs chief medical officer, Dr Parbodh Gogna, on the Hussein and Abdisalam cases but has not received a reply.

“We have sent multiple emails about healthcare issues since he started this month. We have yet to hear back from him about any of them.”

Guardian Australia has made multiple requests for interviews with Dr Gogna, but these have been declined.

The department does not comment on individual medical cases.

A spokeswoman told Guardian Australia the department “is reviewing the findings of the Queensland coroner in relation to the death of Hamid Kehazaei in 2014”.


https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/aug/02/manus-medical-neglect-scandalous-australian-doctors-say?CMP=share_btn_fb
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Re: As we speak, on Manus Island

Postby HBS Guy » 04 Aug 2018, 16:25

Neglect, for the sake of some really scabby Party politics. And half of OzPol is happy with that.
Abbott & Co are going to cause the mother and father of all recessions—be prepared!
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Re: As we speak, on Manus Island

Postby johnsmith » 04 Aug 2018, 17:06

should lock the libs on nauru
FD.
I hope that bitch who was running their brothels for them gets raped with a cactus.
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Re: As we speak, on Manus Island

Postby mothra » 04 Aug 2018, 17:44

I fucked my knee up about 10 years ago. The pain was excruciating. I had no idea a knee could hurt that much.

It was nowhere near as bad as that photo.

And how, just a few days after a ruling of negligence and complicity on Manus, just how the fuck is this happening?
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Re: As we speak, on Manus Island

Postby mothra » 04 Aug 2018, 17:44

Image
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Re: As we speak, on Manus Island

Postby johnsmith » 04 Aug 2018, 18:29

Can we kneecap mutton and leave him with no medical aid?
FD.
I hope that bitch who was running their brothels for them gets raped with a cactus.
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Re: As we speak, on Manus Island

Postby mothra » 04 Aug 2018, 18:36

johnsmith wrote:Can we kneecap mutton and leave him with no medical aid?



Should be fucking riots over this.
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Re: As we speak, on Manus Island

Postby johnsmith » 04 Aug 2018, 19:01

mothra wrote:
johnsmith wrote:Can we kneecap mutton and leave him with no medical aid?



Should be fucking riots over this.


it's infuriating isn't it!

bloody morons
FD.
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Re: As we speak, on Manus Island

Postby mothra » 04 Aug 2018, 21:47

johnsmith wrote:
mothra wrote:
johnsmith wrote:Can we kneecap mutton and leave him with no medical aid?



Should be fucking riots over this.


it's infuriating isn't it!

bloody morons


Bloody psychopaths, more like it.
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Re: As we speak, on Manus Island

Postby hatty » 05 Aug 2018, 07:38

This is awful!

we give all we can spare to UNHCR.

And the rest of our tax dollars go to a government who is responsible for this shit.

It boils my piss.
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Re: As we speak, on Manus Island

Postby mothra » 06 Aug 2018, 12:11

Writing from Manus prison: a scathing critique of domination and oppression

Behrouz Boochani spent almost five years typing passages of his book into a mobile phone. The result resists classification

What is more horrific: immigration detention centres constructed as anomalies of a liberal democracy, or systematic state torture imagined as something distinct from fascism?

Behrouz Boochani finished his book, No Friend but the Mountains: Writing From Manus Prison, approximately a month after being forcibly removed from the original Manus Island immigration detention centre. He completed it following the intense 23-day siege of the prison and the horrific experiences associated with the standoff, eviction and transfer of refugees.

He spent almost five years typing passages of various chapters into his mobile phone and using Whatsapp to text message them to Moones Mansoubi who filed the writings. She then arranged the text messages into chapters based on Boochani’s instructions and subsequently sent to me for translation. Early on in the writing process, Boochani had his phone confiscated during one of the brutal early morning raids and for a period of time was forced to write on paper and dictate to Moones using voice messaging (who obviously had to transcribe the new sections).

Horrified mothers ... mothers wrapped their children within the instincts of motherhood and escaped to the mountains. Young girls were searching for their dreams within the hearts of men rounded up into groups – so many groups – and being led down a road to the front lines of war. Groups – so many groups – returned as corpses. Again, it is those same chestnuts that became the solace for buried dreams.

Those chestnuts were proud
Those chestnuts joined in mourning
Those chestnuts from those mountains
Only those chestnuts know how beautiful the dreams of maidens
Dreams resting on the rocky slopes
Dreams dying there between the deep valleys, dying young
There alongside the coarse tree trunks
A short life ending inside dark forests
The flee and flight days
Days of terror
Days of darkness
Days of affliction.

Every one of them headed for the mountains using all the power in their legs.

Overcoming so much, they found asylum on the cliffs and within the dark caves. Under the roofs of abandoned village homes, abandoned but still with a vestige of home life. Similar to a candle burning but unlikely to last the night. Old men with long clay pipes. Men of old age ... sacrificed ... sacrificed as the more able fled ... sacrificed as the young men fled. They remained there through the nights and recollected, remained there with their memories until they died of hunger and thirst, remained there till the end. The older and weaker among them wasted away. Whoever couldn’t reach the mountains had to die. These were the rules, this is how things played out during those times, this is what was expected.
– Behrouz Boochani


Boochani’s book incorporates features of the author’s journalism and political commentary, which he is recognised for. But he also fuses his writing with psychological analysis, philosophical interpretation, sentimental observation, myth, epic and folklore. In his effort to bring these genres together, he creates a cacophony that evokes the harsh physical reality, uncertainty and the incessant abuses practiced in Manus Island prison – he deconstructs the established principles of genres as he employs them, thus positioning his book as an anti-genre.

Boochani has created a book that resists classification. It overlaps with genres such as prison literature, philosophical fiction, clandestine philosophical literature, prison narratives, Australian dissident writing, Iranian political art, transnational literature, decolonial writing and the Kurdish literary tradition.

No Friend but the Mountains is a form of communication that emerges from sites of state violence; antagonism against people crossing borders for safety and freedom. Therefore, there is a distinct combination of factors that determine the creative character and philosophical thrust of the book and which establish it as a unique form of art and resistance. These factors influence the intellectual basis and creative vision. They involve Boochani’s own state of displacement, exile and incarceration, Australia’s border politics and its policy shifts and transformations, and the insidious ways in which the border regime has been normalised in mainstream Australian society and culture.

In his book Boochani introduces us to different dimensions of his experience and thinking. Both a profound creative writing project and a strategic act of resistance, the book is part of a coherent theoretical project and critical approach. After five years of publishing articles with media organisations in Australia and internationally, co-directing the film (2017) and presenting many influential speeches to various audiences, Boochani is adamant that people still do not understand the extent of the situation and the underlying logic of what he calls Manus prison.

A cage
High walls
Wire fencing
Electronic doors
CCTV cameras
A cage – high walls – wire fencing – electronic doors – CCTV cameras
Surveillance cameras gazing at 20 individuals
Men wearing oversized garments
Men with loose-fitting clothes hanging off them.


Early in the morning, at six, guards came in like debt collectors and heaved us out of bed. Within a few minutes they took us to a tightly confined cage. It is now almost two hours since they brought us here. These hours have been really tough. It is hard being imprisoned ... being locked in a cage. We have now been in prison on Christmas Island for a whole month. It is hard being a prisoner. – Behrouz Boochani

This book is a scathing critique of a modern form of systematic torture and the way border politics has been weaponised by nation-states. Through the narratives Boochani presents a deep reflection on the many underlying structures that operate together to sustain and reinforce Manus Island prison. He shows us how these interlocking systems of subjugation and degradation reflect a more extensive program that is indicative of Australia’s colonial imaginary and the xenophobia that infiltrates so many aspects of social, cultural and political life.

The term kyriarchal system is used in the book to identify these interconnected systems of domination and oppression; an examination of the meaning and significance of this concept is provided in my essays accompanying the work.

The developments over the months slowly but surely prove to everyone that the principle of The Kyriarchal System governing the prison is to turn the prisoners against each other and to ingrain even deeper hatred between people. Prison maintains its power over time; the power to keep people in line. Fenced enclosures dominate and can pacify even the most violent person – those imprisoned on Manus are themselves sacrificial subjects of violence. We are a bunch of ordinary humans locked up simply for seeking refuge. In this context, the prison’s greatest achievement might be the manipulation of feelings of hatred between one another – Behrouz Boochani

The style, tone, form and content of No Friend but the Mountains reflects the mode of production; in fact, these features of the book and the writing and translation process are conditioned by the lived experience and endurance of the author, and the difficulties we encountered as we struggled to complete the translation. The work depicts a stream of consciousness – or, more accurately, a disrupted and fragmented stream of consciousness. The stories, meditations and poems constituting the book represent fundamental features of surrealism: a free expression of the subconscious; culturally situated inspirations and imaginative interpretation of objects and structures in natural and built environments (whether in the prison or from past experiences); and flashback and flash-forward literary techniques that employ the use of dream visions. In addition, Boochani’s narratives present an uncanny and tense dialogue between elements of psychological horror and horror realism. I call this style horrific surrealism.

On rainy days the island has a different colour and fragrance
When the rain pours down there is no sign of mosquitoes
When it rains, one doesn’t feel the heat that drenches bodies in sweat
The Flowers Resembling Chamomile
Dancing incessantly
Breathing heavily
Gasping as though in love with the cool ocean breeze
I love those flowers
A zeal for resistance
A tremendous will for life bursting out from the coils and curves of the stems
Bodies stretching out to reveal themselves for all to witness.
– Behrouz Boochani


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/31/writing-from-manus-prison-a-scathing-critique-of-domination-and-oppression
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Re: As we speak, on Manus Island

Postby mothra » 06 Aug 2018, 12:13

It would be awesome if everyone that can bought a copy of this book. For a number of very good reasons:


https://www.booktopia.com.au/no-friend-but-the-mountains-behrouz-boochani/prod9781760555382.html
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