Nigerian girl died of rare condition, not malnutrition – [Malta] Minister Michael Falzon

February 3, 2018

Africa, Europe, Nigeria


“The world will never respect Africa until Nigeria earns that respect” – Mandela


The story of a “7 year-old” Nigerian girl who supposedly died of malnutrition and whose siblings were taken from the parents to care-giver caught my eyes in the Malta Independent this past week but two days later, an update [below], states the girl, an 8 year-old, not seven, died of another cause.

Apart from the very sad story, what touched me was the seriousness with which the death of the girl was handled all the way at the top, The Maltese Parliament. A few comments by the newspaper’s readers also show that the Maltese are, generally speaking, a caring people.

While my stay in the island nation was too short to do an investigative story about the status of the girl’s parents, I have a feeling the family is part of the refugee community from West Africa, mostly Nigerians, who daily attempt to cross to Europe via the desert and Libyan route.

As we moved around the island riding the very easy and cheap municipal bus especially at Valletta [the old capital], we saw many Africans – mostly Nigerian-looking] sitting on stoops; whether they were waiting to be picked up for day labor or just sitting, one could not really tell. While I did not see any evidence of their being harassed, the woebegone look on all was apparent and very saddening.

As hundreds of Nigerians continue to perish daily in the Mediterranean Sea, and thousands suffer degradation and dehumanizing treatments in North Africa and beyond on farms in Europe, camps AND Libyan slave auctions, the Nigerian government has yet to show a strong will to tackle the awful situation. May be it will ask for foreign aid to tackle the problem as it continually does with fighting Boko Haram.

Her leaders may have decadent kids who display obscene wealth sourced apparently from the looting of the country: displaying bank balance large enough to run tiny African countries on social media, owning expensive real estate not earned … yet, government cannot commit funds to areas that would make living in Nigeria – even if challenging – more attractive than the Sahara  route to dehumanization and/or death of thousands.

A fraction of the huge amounts of  daily reported money stolen/missing, et cetera in Nigeria is enough to lift this country that is determined never to grow into nationhood out of the league of pan-handling states into a Second World Country.

No consolation to those who suffer at the hands of the kleptocracy that subsequent Nigerian governments have become THAT wealth being carted out of Nigeria daily does not earn Nigeria’s shameless looters a shred of respect in the outside world no matter the costs of the opulent homes they purchase, or the opulence of the nothing-succeeds-like-excess parties they throw abroad.

What a blight on the souls of her star-crossed citizens and the country – if it has any – and a massive disgrace on the so-called giant of Africa!

As late Madiba Nelson Mandela eloquently put it in viewing the abysmal failure of Nigeria despite her wealth: The world will never respect Africa until Nigeria earns that respect.]




Maltese flag



8-year-old Nigerian girl Victoria Aluko died as a result of a rare condition, and not because she was malnourished, Family Minister Michael Falzon told Parliament this evening.

On 22 January the government had initially said that the girl was found dead at the Dominican residence in Zabbar, where she lived with her family.

Last week Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced that the girl’s siblings had been placed under a care order. A magisterial inquiry and an independent investigation are currently underway.

Falzon said the girl died of a condition known as aplastic anaemia, which is a rare condition affecting the bone marrow. He said tests showed that the girl’s siblings were not malnourished.  

The minister clarified that the girl died at Mater Dei Hospital’s emergency department. He said he did not have this information in hand when the government made a statement in Parliament about the girl’s death .

Falzon said Agenzija Appogg is currently dealing with 151 child protection cases. Another 270 children are also being monitored at home with their parents.

The agency, he said, works with over 400 children living in residential homes or with foster carers. He described social workers as ‘unsung heroes.’

Both the government and the Church say the family was not under their care.

Here are a few comments from Maltese readers:


What’s the name of that rare condition minister ? Honesty/Transparency perhaps.

charless borg

We don,t believe you falzon.


So all the breast beating and harrowing show of grief (sic) over this poor child’s death was all in vain. We, the community, are not so heartless and uncaring that she died after all. It’s always a tragedy when a child dies but one doesn’t have to take the opportunity to blow one’s trumpet!

Gee Mike

“Prognosis. Untreated, severe aplastic anemia has a high risk of death. Modern treatment, by drugs or stem cell transplant, has a five-year survival rate that exceeds 85%, with younger age associated with higher survival.“

Is our health service on the brink?

Have we failed as hosts of people in need?

Malta hannina hobza u sardina.
Not any more.


The main question is: how many care orders were issued last year? And how many other vulnerable children have been flagged up by social workers but their care order is still pending? 

pete ross

If she happened to be the daughter of a new multi-millionaire Maltese citizen she would have had the most advanced treatment, and most probably wouldn’t have died of that rare disease, but being the daughter of poor migrant parents who can’t afford a proper meal let alone a million euros to buy Maltese citizenship and thus enjoy all the rights and benefits that come with it, then she had to die.

There are medicines for the gods but not ofr [for] others.


SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2018. 5:34 A.M. [GMT]

, ,


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: