14-year-old looses his life due to Maldives Government’s reluctance to allow use of Indian Dornier aircraft for timely medical evacuation

In the Maldives, a 14-year-old lost his life due to delays in crucial medical treatment. According to local media reports in the archipelago, the teen lost the battle as the Maldives Government was reluctant to allow the use of Indian Dornier aircraft to airlift him for timely medical evacuation. The boy, who had a brain tumour and suffered a stroke, had his family request an air ambulance to transport him from his home in Gaaf Alif Villingili to Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Male. However, their distress calls went unanswered until Thursday morning, when the Maldives’ aviation authorities finally responded. The boy was later shifted to the Intensive Care Unit after a considerable delay. The opposition MDP has criticised the entire situation which led to the loss of life due to delays in utilizing available Indian assistance. Commenting on the death of the boy, Maldives MP Meekail Naseem took to X and said, “People shouldn’t have to pay with their lives to satisfy the President’s animosity towards India”. Maldivian President Mohammed Muizzu came to power on the back of a campaign to remove Indian Dornier Aircraft and Helicopters. Muizzu had asked India to withdraw aircrafts and men who were stationed for the upkeep of the crafts. The helicopters have been utilised for humanitarian aid and supplies in the island nation. Over the last five years, more than 500 medical evacuations have been carried out by Indian personnel saving 523 lives. India has been the first responder for Maldives on several occasions including the 1988 coup attempt, the 2004 Tsunami, and the 2014 water crisis as well as providing Vaccines against COVID.

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