Tharnicaa Murugappan, the Australian-born youngest daughter of the Biloela family that Peter Dutton locked up on Christmas Island, is being medically evacuated to a Perth hospital after being severely unwell for 10 days.
Tharnicaa, who is only three years old, is suspected to have a blood infection called septicaemia after suffering from vomiting, diarrhoea, dizziness, and a temperature reaching over 40 degrees.
According to a press release, detention centre staff refused to take Tharnicaa to a hospital until Sunday, despite ongoing requests from her distressed mother, Priya Murugappan.
BREAKING: Tharnicaa (nearly 4 years old) is being medically evacuated to Perth for treatment of a suspected blood infection. She was hospitalised yesterday on CI after suffering a high fever, vomiting/diarrhoea & dizziness for 10 days. Pls keep our little cockatoo in your hearts. pic.twitter.com/ynnT5uNQIh
— HometoBilo (@HometoBilo) June 7, 2021
Tharnicaa’s father, Nades, and her sister Kopika, are both still detained at Christmas Island while she and Priya have been transferred to a hospital in Perth.
Priya said she’d been requesting medical attention for Tharnicaa since Tuesday May 25th when she ran a fever, but the International Health and Medical Services (who are responsible for administering health services in detention) only gave Tharnicaa Panadol and Nurofen.
The fact that Tharnicaa was left so dangerously unwell for so long without hospital aid has left people on Twitter devastated and outraged.
Very concerning reports 3 yr old Tharnicaa did not receive adequate medical attention on Christmas Island where she & her family are being detained by Australian authorities. It's also cruel her sister & father were left behind while she receives treatment in Perth #hometobilo https://t.co/OUJncZIZh4
— Sophie McNeill (@Sophiemcneill) June 7, 2021
I'm struggling to use child appropriate language. This makes me so angry. How are we still doing this to children? How? And please don't say it is not us. It is us. It is me. It is my tax dollars doing this. All the best wishes in the world for the little one. Love to Tharnicaa.
— Maya Verma (@evolvewrite) June 7, 2021
10 days! If my 3/4yo had fever/vomiting/diarrhoea for more than a day I would take her to hospital. The government has neglected Tharnicaa (again) by letting her suffer so long b3 allowing her treatment. @ScottMorrisonMP, @PeterDutton_MP, @karenandrewsmp you are fucking monsters. https://t.co/yjWxztY7QA
— Carls (@carlslj) June 7, 2021
As a social worker I can tell you any parent or carer who abused a child to this extent would likely face gaol.
The behaviour of Morrison & Dutton is not only morally repugnant it's is effectively criminal.#hometobilo
— ????David Gray???? (@DaveyDogs) June 7, 2021
Angela Fredericks, family friend and spokesperson for the Home to Biloela group who have been campaigning for the return of the Tamil family to Queensland, said “this is another instance of lack of proper medical care for these little Biloela girls.”
“Tharnicaa has been in detention for almost all of her young life. During that time she has suffered vitamin deficiencies due to lack of sunlight and fresh fruit and vegetables. She later suffered [a] concussion after an improperly secured whiteboard fell on her head, and was not taken to hospital until hours later when she started vomiting.
“Now, her needs have been dismissed until she was vomiting and falling over. This is just not good enough.”
“If her loving parents were able to access medical services for their children the moment they needed it – as they would in the Australian community – we would not see these shocking delays. That’s all Nades and Priya want to do for their girls – to care for and protect them.”
Our politicians have wasted $26 million imprisoning these 2 Australian-born girls & their loving Mum & Dad on Christmas Island, 5000km from their home in the QLD town of Biloela, where they are loved and wanted. pic.twitter.com/bFpZ2oDmh9
— HometoBilo (@HometoBilo) January 26, 2020
This is not the first time Tharnicaa has been sick – when she was just two years old, she had to have four teeth surgically removed and another four treated after they began to rot during her time in detention.
The Biloela family have now been in detention for three years. They are the only asylum seekers locked up in the Christmas Island detention centre, which Australia spent $185 million to reopen.
Tharnicaa is almost 4 years old now, and was born right here in Queensland, Australia – yet she’s been held in Australia’s harsh detention facilities since she was 9 months old. Think about that for a second. Peter Dutton was cool with his mate’s French au pair coming into Australia, but locked up a 9-month-old baby.
Some stuff you just can’t make up.