Modern technology helps identify man who lost memory, speech ability in road accident last year

May 20, 2010
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An Asian man whose name and nationality remained unknown for five months after he lost his memory in a traffic accident has been finally identified thanks to modern technology.

The victim, who suffered post-traumatic aphasia –the inability to speak- and amnesia, could not recall his name or country.

Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) officials said that he had not uttered a single word and no one visited him or inquired about his whereabouts since his admission on December 25. 2009.

The officials said that they had taken his picture to all the embassies of South East Asian countries and the Indian sub-continent, but no-one recognized him.

Following months of exhaustive search for answers and relatives or friends, the hospital on Thursday appealed to Bahrain’s population for help by publishing the victim’s picture.

Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) officials, upon seeing the hospital plea, sent a team equipped with a pocket PDA-CAD, an electronic identity device remotely connected with computers storing the data of all foreigners in Bahrain, to the BDF hospital.

Using the nameless victim’s fingerprints, they were able to identify him as Ramasamy, a 42-year-old Indian.

“We have been gathering data about all foreigners who have come to work or live in Bahrain since 2007, and it is thanks to the huge data bank that we have  and to the latest technological devices that we use that we have been able to identify this man,” Waheed Beloushi, head of information and media at LMRA, said. “We are always ready to offer our assistance whenever it is required, especially that the task is not demanding,” he said.

According to Waheed, Ramasamy had been staying illegally in the country since the factory in which he used to work closed down in 2004.

LMRA was able to collect data about him during one of the numerous events it organized as part of a campaign to store information and fingerprints of all foreigners in Bahrain. LMRA then gave assurances that it would not take action against any foreigner staying illegally in the country, a pledge that made several labourers register their names and store their data.

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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