Sharjah: Two Afghan kids with thalassemia could miss their doctor’s appointment on Tuesday afternoon as their parents are stranded overseas due to COVID-19 flight suspensions.
Farishta, 9, and Nadira, 6, are slated to visit the Department of Oncology at Al Ain’s Tawam Hospital where they are undergoing treatment for the inherited blood disorder.
But this time the siblings, currently living with their cousins in Sharjah, will have to skip the May 19 appointment.
Their father Niamatullah, 33, hasn’t returned from a business trip to Australia while their mum remains stranded in Afghanistan with their youngest sister.
Niamutallah said he’s not been able to find anyone who could drive his daughters 150-km to the Al Ain hospital from Sharjah and back.
“I am losing sleep as my girls have not been keeping well lately and may require blood transfusion. Should that happen, they will have to be admitted to the hospital and I will need someone to stay back with them,” the worried Afghan expat said over the phone from Melbourne.
Niamatullah left for Australia on an extended business trip in mid-February. “I was hoping to return towards March-end but the coronavirus lockdown put a spanner in my travel plans,” recalled the Sharjah resident.
Niamatullah was still in Australia when his wife Husniya had to air-dash to her hometown in Afghanistan on March 9 with four-year-old daughter Ayesha on an emergency.
“My father-in-law had taken ill suddenly so my wife flew down to Kandahar to see him. She took along Ayesha leaving Farishta and Nadira behind with my cousin Hafiz in Sharjah,” said Niamatullah.
“My daughters need their parents more than ever. Both me and my wife desperately want to return so that we could look after our ailing kids. “We have applied for permission to return through the Twajudi service for residents several times but each time our applications has been rejected. I am at my wit’s end I don’t know how much longer we will have to wait,” he said.
On Saturday, Niamatullah took to social media to describe his situation and draw the attention of authorities. “I am in Australia and my wife is outside UAE. My 2 small and sick daughters are ALONE in UAE,” he explained in a twitter post to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation.
Niamatullah’s cousin Hafez with whom the girls are staying said he’s worried about their health. “I arranged their visit to Tawam Hospital in April but this time I am caught up in work and may have to seek a fresh appointment. It’s not the right thing but I have no choice,” he said.