Son of a rickshaw puller suffers from Type-1 Gaucher’s disease

The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notices to the Centre, the Delhi Government and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on a petition seeking a direction for providing free treatment to the son of a rickshaw-puller here.

The petition has been filed by the seven-year-old patient, Mohammed Ahmed, through his father, Mohammed Sirajuddin.

According to petition, Ahmed is suffering from Type-1 Gaucher’s disease caused by a genetic disorder with symptoms of high fever and bleeding. Sirajuddin has already lost four children due to this disease.

The petitioner approached the Court when the AIIMS authorities refused to treat him free and the governments refused to bear the expenses.

Counsel for the petitioner, Ashok Agrawal, submitted that the refusal of treatment to the patient was violation of his fundamental right to life.

The Paediatric Department of AIIMS had estimated the cost of his treatment, enzyme replacement therapy, at about Rs. 4.8 lakh per month. As there was no question of the patient’s father meeting even a fraction of it, the AIIMS authorities had turned him away, the petition stated.

As the doctors have advised Sirajuddin against going for another child, Ahmed is his only hope, the petition stated.

Sirajuddin approached the Prime Minister’s Office twice with the recommendation by Congress Delhi MP Mahabal Mishra for monetary help for the treatment from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund but the officials there just told him that he would be informed through post when his request was admitted, Mr. Agrawal submitted.

Though the Directorate of Health Services of the Delhi Government gave him Rs. 4.8 lakh but it met only a month’s medical expenses.

Justice V.K. Jain directed the respondents to file replies to the petition within two weeks. The matter will now come up for hearing on December 11.