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Pak child peace activist Malala still unconscious

Publication Date : 12-10-2012


Malala Yousufzai, the 14-year-old activist who was shot and critically injured in a Taliban attack, was airlifted to the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) in Rawalpindi yesterday as she was still remaining unconscious.

She was operated upon twice — first to extract a bullet from her shoulder and then to decompress the brain. Although she is still unconscious, her condition is not deteriorating.

A senior government official said the bullet had caused some damage to her brain and she had been placed on a ventilator for this.

Malala’s father and a five-member medical team, which treated her in a military hospital in Peshawar, also accompanied her in the army helicopter.

Taliban shot Malala, who championed the cause of girls’ education and dared to criticise Taliban’s attack on schools and schoolgoing girls, in Mingora on her way home from school on Tuesday.

The doctors in Peshawar decided to shift Malala to the AFIC’s critical care unit because of her “unstable condition”.

A senior doctor at the AFIC who did not want to be named said a team of neurosurgeons and physicians had been taking care of Malala whose condition was varying from time to time. Apparently there was no plan to shift her abroad because she had already been provided all necessary treatment in the country, he added.

The doctor further said she had been shifted to the AFIC only because of better facilities there. “We have a well-equipped intensive care unit at the AFIC and have been providing all facilities to the doctors treating Malala. The team of doctors is of the opinion that there are 70 per cent chances of her recovery.”

He said the doctors were also examining the option of sending her abroad for further treatment because they had noticed swelling in her brain.

A senior police officer told Dawn that security in and around the hospital and other sensitive areas on The Mall had been beefed up. “Special security arrangements have been put in place at the hospital and no visitors, except patients and their attendants, are allowed to enter the hospital.”

He said a joint team of police and the armed forces were patrolling around the hospital to avoid any untoward threat.

Inter-Services Public Relations, the public relations wing of the military, said: “Malala Yousufzai was shifted this evening by an army helicopter from Peshawar CMH to AFIC Rawalpindi. A team of specialist doctors accompanied Malala in the helicopter.

“Malala has been kept at ITC. The Surgeon General of Pakistan Army, along with a team of specialist doctors, received her. All resources are being employed to ensure the best possible treatment.”

Talking to reporters, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said the federal cabinet had condemned the terrorist attack on peace award winner Malala Yousufzai and other girls and vowed to root out terrorism.

He said Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf had invited the leadership of all political parties to accompany him to the hospital today to inquire about the health of the brave girl.

Kaira said the decision to invite the political leadership had been taken to express solidarity and give collective response to the situation emerging out of the attack on Malala.

AFP adds: Officials said Malala was still in a critical condition.

“Now she needs post surgery care. The doctors recommended that the AFIC has better facilities for post-surgery care,” military spokesman Maj-Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa said. He said Malala was still unconscious and that the next 24 hours would be crucial.

Mehmoodul Hasan, one of Malala’s relatives, said the family had been told that doctors were sending her medical reports abroad for advice. “They are checking if better facilities are available in the UK or Dubai or any other country. Then they will decide about sending her abroad. Otherwise they will treat her here,” he said.


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