Malala Yousufzai, the schoolgirl and women’s rights activist from Pakistan who was shot in the head by the Taliban and subsequently flown to the United Kingdom for treatment, has been discharged from Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the hospital said Friday.
Yousufzai was discharged on Thursday, but will be re-admitted in late January or early February for reconstructive surgery to her skull, the hospital said.
“Malala is a strong young woman and has worked hard with the people caring for her to make excellent progress in her recovery,” said Dave Rosser, medical director of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. “Following discussions with Malala and her medical team, we decided that she would benefit from being at home with her parents and two brothers.”
Yousufzai, now 15, was shot and wounded on her way home from school in October last year. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the shooting, saying she was promoting “Western thinking.”
Her departure from the hospital comes in the same week that gunmen in Islamabad on motorcycles sprayed a van carrying employees from a community center with bullets, killing five female teachers and two aid workers.
The director of the group that the seven worked for says he suspects it may have been the latest in a series of attacks targeting anti-polio efforts in Pakistan. Some Islamic militants oppose the vaccination campaigns, accusing health workers of acting as spies for the United States and alleging the vaccine is intended to make Muslim children sterile.
Last month, nine people working on an anti-polio vaccination campaign were shot and killed. Four of those shootings were in the northwest where Tuesday’s attack took place.
Earlier this week, Yousufzai’s father was given a diplomatic post in the U.K. Ziauddin Yousufzai has been appointed Pakistan’s education attache in Birmingham, the Associated Press reported.
In a post on Twitter on Friday, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife, Sarah, wrote, “Good news that Malala is well enough to leave hospital. We wish her well as her recovery continues with her family.”