Monday, March 4, 2024

Iranian ‘ambassador of SMA patients’ hospitalized 

An Iranian boy who was suffering from a Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) has been admitted to the hospital after a bout with the disease and lack of medicine, a stark reminder of the harsh conditions patients of the rare neuromuscular disorder go through to receive medication under US-led Western sanctions. 

Sina Alikhani, 14, was rushed to the hospital on Thursday for a surgery on his spinal cord, and is reportedly in a critical condition

as the post-surgery medicines were not available.

Sina became known as the ‘ambassador of SMA patients’ after he was seen in a video that went viral, showing him in a rally outside Iran’s parliament demanding better care for the patients.

His father said an increasing number of the patients succumb to the complications of the disorder due to lack of medicine in the country.

The US claims the bans do not target the imports of humanitarian supplies in Iran, but the sanctions on Tehran’s foreign banking transactions have made it impossible for the country to access critically needed medicine and medical equipment over the past years.

Iranian officials have slammed the relentless sanctions which affect millions of patients in the country as a “crime against humanity”, saying the restrictions on importing medicine sharply increase the death rate among the patients.

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