“Everyone on the island knows how serious this is. We have been saying for months a child is going to die in these circumstances,” an on-island official with knowledge of the medical situation told the Guardian. “A child is going to die. Every day we get closer. It’s never been so critical.”
At least six children sent to Nauru by the Australian government have resignation syndrome. Doctors say the rare psychological illness is like “going into hibernation”.......................................
“These children need to be in an acute medical setting where they’ve got access to intensive care, they need nasogastric [nose tube] feeding, rehydrations, intravenous fluids, and a lot of nursing care to prevent complications,” Newman said. “It’s a medical condition initially. Further down the track, some of these children will wake up when they realise they’re in space of safety.”
Next comes treating their minds. None of this will happen quickly. But what might happen after that doesn’t bear thinking about.
“They need intensive psychological treatment to help them cope with the trauma they’ve been through,” said Newman. “Then the politics will be the desire to send her back.”
THE AUSTRALIAN DETENTION CAMPS on the tiny Micronesian islands of Nauru and Manus are, by all accounts, hell on earth.
Adult detainees have set themselves on fire, and children as young as 10 have repeatedly attempted suicide. Allegations of sexual assault and child abuse are rampant. Camp conditions are toxic, but health care has been denied to detainees. The government has banned journalistsand human rights advocates. Thousands of citizens on the mainland have staged protests, to no avail.
The Australian company Canstruct will not comment on the deportation of four of its workers at the Australian-run asylum seeker camps on Nauru.
The Nauru Government is also refusing to say why the workers were sent home..................................
In about six weeks time a Nauru run company is set to assume the management of the refugee facilities, with the Canstruct contract coming to an end.
A lawyer with Maurice Blackburn who assisted with the case, Jennifer Kanis, told Guardian Australia that more than a dozen other cases involving sick children on Nauru had been brought to the court in 2018. In every case, the court had ordered the child be sent to Australia for treatment, she said.
“The outrage in this case, the question that has to be asked, is why the government fights these cases every time,” she said. “Surely the better response would be [for the government] to provide proper medical treatment to children who are in their care.”
This week, Peter Dutton was once again forced by the federal court to transfer a sick child from Nauru to Australia for medical treatment. We say forced, because representatives for the Minister for Home Affairs actively fought to prevent the transfer by arguing that the child in question wasn’t actually that sick.
“While infrastructure constraints play a role in limited pooling numbers, we are appalled by this attempt to control media coverage,” the New Zealand Parliamentary Press Gallery said.
Nauru’s aversion to media scrutiny stems from the asylum-seeker processing center it hosts on Australia’s behalf, activists claim. With the island only 21 square kilometers (8 square miles) in size, it is close to the summit venue.
Despite decades working in humanitarian crises around the world, the suffering I witnessed on Nauru is an immense shock