ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's 'solar kids', victims of a perplexing medical condition who are currently under treatment at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims), are set to remain at the hospital until all tests are complete and results reveal more about their affliction.
The pair of siblings from Mian Kundi, a village near Quetta, were nicknamed 'solar kids' by fellow villagers due to a rare condition that leaves them paralysed by sunset, although they wake up full of energy in the morning.
Pims Vice Chancellor (VC) Dr Javed Akram told DawnNews that after testing different medicines, one appeared to be "somewhat effective". The condition of the 'solar kids' is better in the evening now ─ they can sit and walk ─ but it's not a completely effective cure, he said.
Nearly a hundred medical tests have been completed while the results of around 200 tests are still awaited, Akram said, adding that one test reported a genetic problem which pointed to an issue with the nervous system.
The children's mother and brother are being tested as well and doctors have also been sent to Mian Kundi to assess their living environment and obtain more clues about the disease.
The Pims VC confirmed that the children are unlikely to be sent home any time soon. "We will not send them back until we complete their treatment."
The children were taken on a trip to the zoo yesterday, he said. "We will take them on more outings as their condition improves," he said.
Special arrangements were made last week with Pims to initiate treatment. A medical board had examined the children and recommended 232 tests and DNA analyses, samples of which might be sent abroad. The board members had anticipated that testing could reveal an entirely new disease.
If this is a case without precedent, the doctors at Pims may have to suggest a name for the condition themselves, Akram said.