A two-year-old boy who was severely injured in a terrorist attack at Kabul Airport has been offered treatment at a children's hospital in London, England, but the UK government has not authorised his departure from Afghanistan.
The boy, Navid, was injured in an explosion in August that killed 183 people, including 13 US Marines, at the height of an international evacuation effort from Afghanistan.
Surgeons from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) offered Navid spinal surgery to stop him from becoming paralysed by his injuries. He suffered shrapnel wounds to his head and back, and two shards are lodged near his spine.
More than three months later, he is still in Afghanistan with his family despite British officials raising his case with the Foreign Office.
GOSH told The National it has offered to help Navid, who is not receiving the medical care he needs in Afghanistan.
“We know that in areas of conflict many innocent victims are children who don’t have access to the medical care that they need," a hospital representative said.
"We were made aware of this little boy but have not received any recent medical information or an update on whether he is able to come to the UK.
"If he was able and it was appropriate for him to come to GOSH for treatment, then we would of course have a discussion about how we can help him.”
Afghan doctors saved the boy's life but they lack the expertise to remove the shrapnel near his spine.
Within a day of the explosion, his plight was raised with GOSH surgeons who agreed to help. Despite the Foreign Office opening an investigation, Navid's family said they had heard nothing.
His father, whose name has not been made public, is pleading with the UK to take action.
"We are reaching out our hands to Britain and to God to help us with Navid's treatment," he told a UK newspaper.
"After enduring this hardship, I and others like me only wish for a normal life as a free human being."
The UK government said it is urgently examining the case.
"We are looking into this and will be contacting the family. UK government staff have worked tirelessly to evacuate over 3,000 individuals to leave Afghanistan," a representative said.
"We continue to do all we can to secure safe passage to enable British nationals and eligible Afghans to leave the country."
Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Commons foreign affairs committee, said Navid's case was a "heartbreaking record of failure".
The Foreign Office has been criticised following damning whistleblower revelations about the Afghanistan evacuation.
The UK politician was demoted following the debacle after he chose to remain on holiday despite Afghanistan’s collapse with thousands of British-employed Afghans vulnerable to Taliban retribution.
It has been revealed more than 150,000 people applied for assistance, yet fewer than five per cent received help.