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Surgery of 2-year-old girl with Pakistani passport in India

A rare bone marrow disease was diagnosed in a two-year-old UAE-based girl with a Pakistani passport and had returned to life after undergoing a rare bone marrow transplant in the south Indian state of Kerala.

Kulsum, who is an Afghani but holds a Pakistani passport, underwent the surgery at Aster MIMS Hospital, Calicut. As per the healthcare group, this is the first successful bone marrow transplant conducted on a child as young as Kulsum.

Kulsum was diagnosed with inherent acute myeloid leukaemia and had undergone four cycles of chemotherapy in Dubai. Her doctors recommended her to undergo a bone marrow transplant, but the treatment procedure was not available in Dubai.

The family faced various obstacles while seeking treatment in India with a Pakistani passport.

Even though Kulsum’s family are Afghanis, her grandparents had come to the UAE decades ago for business. They travelled to the UAE with a Pakistani passport as they could not travel with an Afghani one at that time, according to Aster. Kulsum’s father, Mohammed, was born in the UAE and obtained a Pakistani passport.

After their travel was facilitated, Kulsum underwent exhaustive chemotherapy. When her symptoms subsided after her chemo, she underwent a hemopoietic stem cell transplant (bone marrow transplant). Mohammed donated stem cells to his daughter.

Dr Azad Moopen, Chairman of Aster DM Healthcare, said: “It is common for foreigners to seek medical treatment in Kerala. However, in this case, despite such complex circumstances, it is an outstanding example of the fact that Kerala’s healthcare has gained global attention.”

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