Child`s flu death sparks race tensions in Oz

Last Updated: Saturday, July 25, 2009 - 14:55

Sydney: A doctor was evacuated from an
Aboriginal community in Australia`s remote north amid race
tensions following the death of a four-year-old girl believed
to be suffering swine flu, reports said on Saturday.

The child was sent home from the six-bed Doomadgee
town hospital three times, despite having a fever and
breathing difficulties, before finally being admitted in a
serious condition, her family said.

The hospital`s only doctor refused to transfer her to
the larger hospital in nearby Mount Isa and she died in her
grandmother`s arms late Thursday, they said, accusing staff of
racism.

"If she were a little white child the first day she
went to the hospital she would have been flown out to Mount
Isa," her grandfather, Athol Walden, told The Australian
newspaper.

"Some of them we get here are racist, a lot of the
people who work in our community."

His wife, Katrina added: "I think she was neglected
because she was a little black girl."

Test results released today showed she was not in fact
suffering from A(H1N1) influenza, and the cause of death would
be determined by the coroner, the state`s chief medical
officer said.

Bureau Report



First Published: Saturday, July 25, 2009 - 14:55

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