Malala has a 'comfortable night' at Birmingham hospital
17 October, 2012
BIRMINGHAM: Malala Yousufzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban, is making progress in a British hospital, doctors said on Tuesday.
Malala was in a stable condition on her first full day in Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham after being flown to the city in central England on board an air ambulance. The hospital's medical director David Rosser said she had had a "comfortable night". "We are very pleased with the progress she's made so far," he told reporters. "She is showing every sign of being every bit as strong as we've been led to believe. "Malala will need reconstructive surgery and we have international experts in that field."
He said doctors at the highly specialised hospital – where British service personnel wounded in Afghanistan are treated – were beginning to plan for the complex procedures but they would not be carried out in the coming days. Malala has been assessed by clinicians from the neurosurgery, imaging, trauma and therapy departments, though "very specialist teams" who may become involved further down the line are yet to perform detailed assessments on her injuries, Rosser added.
Malala was shot on a school bus in the former Taliban stronghold of the Swat valley last Tuesday. The teenager had a bullet removed from her skull last week. Given that she was targeted for assassination by a Taliban gunman, security measures are in place at the hospital. Malala came to prominence with a blog for the BBC highlighting atrocities under the Taliban. The shooting has been denounced worldwide, including in Pakistan, which is meeting the costs of her treatment.
President Asif Ali Zardari said on Tuesday that the shooting was an attack on all girls in the country – and on civilisation itself. "The Taliban attack on the 14-year-old girl, who from the age of 11 was involved in the struggle for education for girls, is an attack on all girls in Pakistan, an attack on education, and on all civilised people," Zardari said at an economic summit in the Azerbaijani capital Baku.
Sayeeda Warsi, Britain's Foreign Office minister for Pakistan, wrote in The Sun newspaper: "The Quran encourages women's education. What's truly obscene is trying to kill a teenager for speaking this truth. "The Taliban have failed. Malala's message of freedom and equality has now gone global. "Our duty isn't just to help this little girl. It is to carry on spreading her message." Pakistan has offered more than $100,000 for the capture of her attackers. Nearly 200 people have been detained but most have been released.