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RICHARD Zulu, the three-year-old boy with needles embedded in his body, is out of the intensive care unit (ICU) and will be going for a third surgery soon to remove the remaining needles, Ministry of Health spokesperson Abel Kabalo said yesterday.

Dr Kabalo disclosed in an interview that medical experts at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) where the boy is admitted, held a meeting last month at which it was recommended that Richard should be operated on for the third time to remove the 11 remaining needles in the boys’ body, a date for the operation was still to be decided.

Dr Kabalo said Richard was out of the ICU after the last operation and was in good health and responding well to medication. He was playing around and was being looked after by pediatricians at the hospital, he added.

“As of the last update only, 11 needles are remaining from the last successful operation.  Richard is doing well and playing around and out of ICU and being cared for by pediatricians, but only waiting for the dates to be set for another surgery,” Dr Kabalo said.

Last year, Richard was first admitted to Chipata Central Hospital where 25 of the 44 total known needles that were lodged in his body were removed and was later evacuated to UTH following President Edgar Lungu’s directive and the boy has been admitted to UTH since then.

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