NGO Calls on State to Fund Care for Cancer-stricken Sudan Refugee

Mohammed Adam, 24, is receiving treatment for leukemia at the Ketziot prison where he is being housed.

The non-governmental organization Physicians for Human Rights is calling on the state Sunday to continue funding the cancer treatment of a Sudanese refugee currently housed in the Ketziot Prison until and following his release from the facility.

Mohammed Adham, 24, is undergoing treatment for leukemia. Should he leave the prison, he would no longer be eligible for subsidized medical care.

Elisheva Milikovsky, a volunteer for the Organization for Aid to Refugees and Asylum Seekers (known by its Hebrew acronym "Assaf"), said that Adham complained of feeling ill not long after his arrival to the prison.

"He told the prison medic that he doesn't feel well, and he was sent for treatment, where it was discovered that he suffers from leukemia," she said.

According to Milikovsky, Adham received chemotherapy treatments at Be'er Sheva's Soroka Hospital over the course of the last two months. Two weeks ago, however, he was compelled to return to prison after Soroka doctors reported that Adham's hospital stay exposed him to more illnesses. Following his return to Ketziot, the aid volunteers realized that Adham would not be eligible for health coverage once he is released.

Adham is one of 498 refugees slated to remain in the country who are also eligible for full health coverage. The registration process, however, is expected to take at least six months, during which Adham will be hard-pressed to fund his health treatments. One possibility is that one of the health funds would agree to cover Adham's care retroactively.

An official with the Prime Minister's Office said that the PMO has received the letter, and it is awaiting a reply from the Health Ministry director-general. The Health Ministry has yet to comment on the matter.