Aster MIMS-1618736736177
Two-and-a-half-year-old Afghan girl Kulsum with her father Mohammed after the bone marrow transplant in Calicut. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Two-and-a-half-year-old Kulsum, a native of Afghanistan and a Dubai resident, recently recovered from leukaemia by a rare bone marrow transplant at Aster MIMS Hospital, Calicut.

In the history of Kerala, this was the first successful bone marrow transplant performed on a child as young as Kulsum.

Kulsum was diagnosed with congenital acute myeloid leukaemia. She had undergone four cycles of chemotherapy in Dubai. Her doctors in Dubai suggested she undergo a bone-marrow transplant as early as possible, which was not available in Dubai.

Kulsum’s family came to know that Bone Marrow Transplant treatment was available in Aster MIMS Hospital, Calicut in Kerala.

Legal hurdles

Though Kulsum’s family are Afghanis, her grandparents came to the UAE decades ago for business purposes. They travelled to the UAE with a Pakistani passport as they could not travel with an Afghani passport at that time. Kulsum’s father, Mohammed, was born in UAE and thus he too has a Pakistani passport.

There were numerous obstacles while seeking treatment in India with a Pakistani passport. Aster Group Chairman Dr Azad Moopen advised Farhan Yasin, CEO, Aster MIMS North Kerala to enable Kulsum and her family’s travel to India after handling all legal issues and carry out her treatment early as possible.

On reaching Aster MIMS Calicut, Kulsum underwent intensive chemotherapy. When her symptoms subsided after her chemo, she underwent a hemopoietic stem cell transplant (Bone marrow transplant). Mr Mohammed donated stem cells to his daughter. Moopen said, “It is common for foreigners to seek medical treatment in Kerala. However in this case despite such complex circumstances it is an outstanding example of the fact that Kerala’s health care has gained global attention”.

Dr Kesavan M R, Consultant Hematologist, who is treating the child, said Kulsum is on the route to a speedy recovery after her bone marrow transplant.