50 Burmese AIDS patients forcefully taken to hospitals


By Abdullah Al-Dhaas

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

— About 50 Burmese AIDS patients were taken to the hospitals forcefully after the Health Affairs sought interference from the police and the Passport Department (Jawazat), the Burmese Diaspora Office said.

The Health Affairs urged the police and Jawazat to transport 94 AIDS patients from the Burmese diaspora after they refused to undergo treatment.

Makkah Health Affairs official Dr. Siri Asiri met with the Director of Makkah Police and the Director of Al-Shumaisi Jawazat for the Burmese diaspora six months ago to discuss the negligence of AIDS patients in getting their treatment.

The patients have not been responsive when they were summoned by experts at King Faisal Hospital in Al-Shisha.

Burmese Diaspora Office representative Sheikh Abu Al-Shamaa Al-Arkani said the office was quick to respond to the directorate’s request.

“We brought in 50 patients and people who have been in contact with them and their treatment has started. They were educated about the social and health symptoms of having AIDS and how to deal with it. Fourteen Burmese AIDS patients have already died. There are currently 20 patients who were not yet brought to the directorate’s facilities for treatment,” said Al-Arkani.

He added they are currently looking into the untreated patients as 11 of them are not Burmese and have no database information with the office.

“None of the patients have work permits so they have not been working in restaurants or other places. We are extremely cooperative with the directorate and the police. The moment we received the request to bring in the patients we complied,” said Al-Arkani.