Manchester

'Miracle' Oldham baby faces Malawi deportation battle

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Media captionTiny miracle baby Elizabeth Phiri weighed less than a bag of sugar

A "miracle" baby born at 23 weeks is facing another battle for survival to remain in the UK.

Elizabeth Phiri, now aged two, was born in Manchester and given a 50/50 chance of survival.

Mother Aga Phiri, of Oldham, was given temporary permission to stay in the UK from Malawi but the Home Office has rejected her appeal to stay longer.

MP Jim McMahon is urging the government to intervene claiming the family should be allowed to stay on health grounds.

Image caption Aga Phiri says hospitals in Malawi are "very bad"

Ms Phiri, 33, said going back to Malawi would put her and her daughter's lives at risk.

She said Elizabeth, who weighed 1lb 4oz (0.57kg) at birth, still needs vital treatment from the NHS.

"Hospitals are very bad in Malawi. They don't have drugs, you wouldn't even find paracetamol there," she said.

"People die of minor things."

She also said they would be at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM).

"I escaped it but my mum and sister had it," Ms Phiri added.

"It is so dangerous, I need to protect my daughter from it.

"I feel cursed after all the trauma of Elizabeth's birth and now this."

Image copyright Family photograph
Image caption Ms Phiri said she wanted to protect her daughter from dangers in Malawi

Oldham West and Royton MP Mr McMahon said: "Elizabeth was born prematurely and still needs care from the NHS to help her survive.

"We should not be throwing vulnerable people who need us back into situations where they will come to harm."

Ms Phiri was given permission to come to the UK in 2009 for a limited period.

Her visa was extended but when the Home Office refused to let her stay longer, she applied for asylum, which has been denied.

The Home Office said: "All asylum claims are considered carefully and sensitively based on the evidence provided and published country information, which covers country specific issues."

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