There are reports the youngest daughter of the detained Tamil family has been medically evacuated to Perth from Christmas Island.
According to a statement from the family’s support group, Tharnicaa, 3, was being transported to Perth after being hospitalised on Christmas Island with septicaemia, a suspected blood infection.
In an emailed statement from the Home to Biloela group, her mother, Priya, was accompanying her to Perth.
The other two members of the family will remain on Christmas Island in detention.
“The Queensland-born girl, who with her sister is one of only two remaining children remaining in immigration detention, was first taken to the small Christmas Island facility on Sunday morning.
“Tharnicaa had been unwell for 10 days, including vomiting, diarrhoea, dizziness, and a temperature reaching over 40 degrees,” the statement read.
It is the first time Tharnicaa, who turns four next week, has been separated from her sister Kopika and father, Nades.
“I am feeling very scared and worried for my little girl,” said Priya.
“She has been sick for many days, it took a long time for her to get to the hospital. She is already asking for her papa, it is going to be very hard being away from her Dad and sister. It is very hard for our family to be separated when our daughter is sick.”
Family friend and spokesperson Angela Fredericks 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.
According to a change.org petition, more than 360,000 people have signed a petition to bring the family back home to the small close-knit rural Queensland town of Biloela.
“Our community is not ready to let this family go. They love living and contributing to our society. We want them here,” the petition read.
On December 22 last year, the Australian Medical Association called on the federal government to release “two Sri Lankan children and their parents from immigration detention on Christmas Island until their legal case has been finalised”.
Almost 700 paediatricians and healthcare workers signed a petition expressing concerns about the “negative impact” detention was having on the development of the girls.
“The AMA shares the concerns of these eminent paediatricians and other healthcare workers about the harms being caused to these two young children by being in detention for so long and at such a crucial time in their development,” AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid said at the time.
“The first 2000 days of life is critical for children, and early childhood experiences have lasting effects. Continued detention is most likely causing these two little girls avoidable developmental harm.
“The ongoing legal process and associated delays are compounding the harm to these children and prompt resolution of the case one way or the other will be in the interest of all parties, including taxpayers who are funding the extraordinary cost of their detention on Christmas Island,” he said.