More details emerged following the death of Sudanese refugee Faysal Ishak Ahmed in the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital on 23 December. The Guardian reported that both Ahmed and a group of fellow asylum seekers and refugees on Manus Island had written letters to International Health and Medical Services – the company contracted to provide health services for Australia’s detention centres – with concerns for Mr Ahmed’s faltering health up to two months before his death. Health professionals urged an independent review of Australia's medical operations on Manus Island and Nauru in response, while Manus Island MP Ronnie Knight said Australia must build and staff a hospital on the island to prevent further deaths.
Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul said that Mr Ahmed’s family have yet to be contacted by Australian Government representatives about his death, but have requested via refugee advocates that Mr Ahmed’s body be returned to Sudan.
The International Organisation for Migration reported that more than 7000 migrants and refugees died, or remain missing, on the world's migratory routes in 2016. These numbers far exceed those of 2014 and 2015, and are the highest annual number recorded by the IOM.