Bogus ‘family’ turned away from Malala’s UK hospital

Medical director at hospital says incidents did not create security concerns, police say no arrests were made.


Web Desk/afp October 16, 2012

BIRMINGHAM: Several people claiming to be relatives of the 14-year-old Pakistani girl shot in the head by the Taliban tried to enter the British hospital where she is being treated, an official said Tuesday.

The medical director of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where Malala Yousafzai is in intensive care stressed that the incidents did not create any security concerns and police said nobody was arrested.

"We have had some, I guess I would say, irritating incidents overnight and I understand that a number of people have been arrested but there are no security concerns," hospital medical director David Rosser told journalists.

"I understand that a number of people turned up claiming to be members of Malala's family – which we don't believe to be true – and have been arrested."

However a police spokeswoman denied that any arrests were made.

"We are investigating what happened but I can confirm that there were no arrests," the spokeswoman for West Midlands Police told AFP.

The teenager spent a comfortable first night in the hospital, Rosser said, after she arrived in Birmingham in central England on a flight from Pakistan on Monday.

Malala faces long road to recovery: UK doctors

Following her arrival in the UK, Dave Rosser, the medical director at Birmingham hospital, said that Malala Yousufzai  –  the 14-year-old activist who was shot by the Taliban – faced a long road to recovery.

Malala flew in to Birmingham Airport in central England at around 7:50pm, an airport spokeswoman said.

She was first airlifted from Swat to a military hospital in Peshawar, then to the top military hospital in Rawalpindi, where doctors on Sunday took her off a ventilator for a "successful" short trial.

She will be cared for at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, a highly specialised facility where British soldiers seriously wounded in Afghanistan are treated, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister David Cameron said.

Doctors in Pakistan have said Malala needs treatment for a damaged skull and "intensive neuro-rehabilitation", a service that can be provided in the UK hospital.

Malala’s panel of doctors and international experts agreed Malala needed "prolonged care to fully recover from the physical and psychological effects of trauma that she has received".

"We do unfortunately have very extensive experience of dealing with this sort of traumatic bullet related injury," Rosser said on the issue.

"Our experience with battle casualties, and you can deal with her as a battle casualty from a physiological point of view, is that patients need lots of different specialities."

Rosser also said that Malala will need reconstructive surgery.

Security concerns

Security concerns for Malala's departure after daybreak from Islamabad - in an air ambulance provided by the United Arab Emirates - were not announced until the plane was airborne.

Malala, who had been treated in a military hospital, was accompanied on the plane by an intensive care specialist.

Asked if Malala will be guarded at the Birmingham hospital, Cameron's spokeswoman said: "You wouldn't expect me to talk about security matters in detail but certainly security has been taken into account."

Rosser, while talking to the media later on Tuesday, said that the security was "well under control".

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