RAWALPINDI, Oct 14: Malala Yousufzai was taken off the ventilator for some time on Sunday and the short trial was successful, a military spokesman said while giving an update on the condition of the 14-year-old Swat girl who had been shot in the head in a terrorist attack in Mingora last week.
The spokesman said the condition of Malala, who is under treatment at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) in Rawalpindi, was “stable” and she was making “steady and satisfactory progress”.
“A short trial of weaning off from the ventilator was given which was successful. Later she was reconnected to the ventilator to avoid fatigue,” he said, adding that the possibility of shifting Malala abroad was still under consideration but no decision had so far been taken.
Under a contingency plan, he said, the government had already arranged a specially-equipped air ambulance from the United Arab Emirates which would be used if the decision to send her abroad was taken by the board of doctors treating her.
Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Maj-Gen Asim Bajwa had said on Saturday that Malala was steadily improving and as a result she was now being administered a lower dose of sedatives. He said the doctors had cut down the amount of sedatives in view of the steady improvement in her condition. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UAE Jamil Ahmed Khan was quoted by a TV channel as saying on Sunday that visas were being processed for the crew and six doctors who would accompany Malala in the plane. He said arrangements for treatment had been made in three hospitals, two in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi.
The attack on Malala, who campaigned for the right of girls to get education, has been condemned worldwide and the Pakistani authorities have offered a reward of more than $100,000 for information leading to the arrest of her attackers.
Agencies add: A top official in Dubai said on Sunday that the UAE was ready to evacuate Malala for further medical treatment.
“There is an Emirati plane ready to evacuate” Malala Yousufzai, the official who did not want to be named said, adding that the plane would be ready to fly out of the UAE once “final preparations are complete”.
Ambassador Jamil Ahmed told the TV channel that the plane would be used to transport the young activist if necessary, but so far no final decision had been taken. “An air ambulance from the royal fleet with six expert doctors is ready to fly to Pakistan.
We are in touch with the Foreign Office to complete the visa process for the crew and doctors,” he said.
“This is a standby arrangement. Military said the air ambulance is part of the contingency plan and will be used if required.”
UAE sends medics
The United Arab Emirates has dispatched a medical team to evacuate Malala Yousufzai if doctors decide she should be taken abroad for treatment, a UAE news agency reported on Sunday.
The WAM state news agency said the team would evaluate the condition Malala and facilitate her transfer to a hospital outside Pakistan.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, said the attack must be “universally denounced”.
“The attempt on Malala’s life was not only an attack on a defenceless child, it was an attack on her and every girl’s right to a future unlimited by prejudice and oppression,” he said, according to WAM. “We must all stand with Malala in promoting tolerance and respect.”