In a heartbreaking incident in the Maldives, a 14-year-old boy succumbed to his illness on Saturday, with allegations surfacing that the delay in obtaining approval from the Maldivian administration for an air ambulance, provided by India, may have played a key role in the tragedy.
The boy, diagnosed with a brain tumor and suffering a stroke, urgently required medical evacuation from Gaaf Alif Villingili to the capital city, Male. The family reportedly sought assistance from authorities to use the Dornier aircraft provided by India for the airlift.
Family Says Authorities Caused Delay
According to reports, the family claimed that their appeals for prompt medical evacuation went unanswered, stating that timely intervention could have made a crucial difference. The boy's father, as reported by Maldivian media Adhadhu, expressed frustration, saying, "We called Island Aviation to get him to Male immediately after the stroke, but they did not answer our calls. They answered the phone at 8:30 am on Thursday. The solution is to have an air ambulance for such cases."
The emergency evacuation request reportedly took 16 hours to materialise, leading to heightened anguish for the family. Aasandha Company Limited, responsible for the evacuation process, acknowledged receiving the request and cited a last-minute technical issue with the flight as the reason for the unfortunate delay.
Diplomatic Tensions Between India & Maldives
The tragic incident unfolds against the backdrop of strained diplomatic relations between India and the Maldives. Recent derogatory remarks made by Maldivian ministers towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi have escalated tensions.
Reacting to the tragic loss, Maldives MP Meekail Naseem expressed concern, stating, "People shouldn't have to pay with their lives to satisfy the President's animosity towards India." The incident has sparked public outcry, prompting questions about the efficiency of emergency response systems and the potential impact of political tensions on critical healthcare services.