Sunday, February 3, 2013

Malala, girls' rights activist, undergoes successful surgery to reconstruct skull

LONDON – Days after she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, a Pakistani schoolgirl who had been shot in the head by the Taliban underwent a successful surgery at a British hospital to reconstruct her skull and help her to restore her hearing.

A team of doctors carried out a five-hour operation on Saturday on 15-year-old Malala Yousufzai, who was shot in October and brought to Britain for treatment.

The procedures carried out were cranial reconstruction, aimed at mending parts of her skull with a titanium plate, and a cochlear implant designed to restore hearing on her left side, which was damaged in the attack.
Fifteen-year-old Malala Yousufzai was shot by the Taliban for speaking out against Pakistani militants and promoting education for girls.

"Both operations were a success and Malala is now recovering in hospital," said a statement on Sunday from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, central England, where she is being treated.

The girl's condition was described as stable and the statement said her medical team were very pleased with the progress she has made. "She is awake and talking to staff and members of her family," it added.

The attack on Yousufzai, who was shot in the head at point blank range as she left school in the Swat valley, drew widespread international condemnation. The Taliban had targeted her for her outspoken advocacy of girls’ education. She had written a column about her daily life at school for the BBC.

She has become an international symbol of resistance to the Taliban's efforts to deny women education and other rights, and more than 250,000 people have signed online petitions calling for her to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Yousufzai will now continue recuperating at the Queen Elizabeth hospital, which has a specialist unit where doctors have treated hundreds of soldiers wounded in conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, the hospital statement said.

Malala, teen champion of girls' rights, nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
Video: Next hurdle for Malala after Taliban attack: Skull surgery
Video: Outpouring of support for Pakistani teen attacked by Taliban

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