Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Malala to undergo cranial surgery

Malala Yousafzai with her father Ziauddin (Queen Elizabeth Hospital/PA)

A 15-year-old girl shot in the head by the Taliban will undergo reconstructive surgery in the next month, her doctors say.

Malala Yousafzai was shot in Pakistan in October and later transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham (QEHB) for further specialist treatment, where she remains.

Dr Dave Rosser, medical director of the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, said Malala would undergo cranial reconstruction surgery in late January or early February as part of her long-term recovery.

Meanwhile, Malala is now likely to secure permanent residence in the UK after her father was granted a job with the Pakistani consulate in Birmingham.

Ziauddin Yousafzai has been appointed education attache for three years, with the option of an extension for a further two years afterwards. Both he and his daughter have had threats made against their lives by the Taliban, since the shooting.

Malala's British doctors have been delighted with her ongoing recovery. When she was shot on October 9, last year, the bullet entered just above her left eye and ran along her jaw, "grazing" her brain - it was later removed by surgeons in Pakistan before she was flown to the UK.

Dr Rosser said: "Malala has continued to make great progress in her treatment. A number of QEHB's multi-specialist doctors have been working alongside colleagues from Birmingham Children's Hospital to treat her. The medical team has included clinicians from neurosurgery, imaging, trauma and therapies."

The Pakistani High Commission's decision to appoint Mr Yousafzai to its staff makes it more likely than ever Malala and her family will remain here in Britain, long-term.

A statement released by the Pakistani government said it was "pleased to appoint" Mr Yousafzai to head of education at the consulate. "The tenure of his office shall be initially for three years extendable for a further period of two years," it read. "The tenure will start from the date he assumes the charge. Mr Ziauddin will function as head of the education section under head of the mission."

The appointment is a direct result of Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari visiting Malala and her father in hospital on December 8.