Zambian President Edgar Lungu to undergo treatment abroad after collapse

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Edgar Lungu was elected President of Zambia in January
Image: US Embassy Addisababa.

Edgar Lungu, the current President of Zambia, is to undergo medical treatment aboard after collapsing while on stage in Lusaka on Sunday during a ceremony for International Women's Day. The Presidency announced yesterday that Lungu will have throat surgery abroad.

Doctors on Sunday diagnosed him with malaria. Lungu spoke to the press from hospital on Sunday saying "I am looking forward to going home. Doctors have done their tests and they have found traces of malaria, but they are doing further tests and they will let me know what next after before the end of the day".

A later announcement identified his condition instead as a narrowing of the oesophagus, which he had previously received treatment for three decades ago. Despite not announcing where Lungu would head to be treated the Presidency did say he would undergo a "high-tech medical procedure which is currently unavailable in Zambia".

Lungu, who only became the Zambian President in January, has previously dispelled rumours of his health. During the election he fought back against comments about his health calling it a "smear" campaign against him.

Some in Zambia have claimed the presidency is "jinxed". Lungu's predecessor Michael Sata died in October of last year at the age of 77 in London, England. Sata died only six years after serving President Levy Mwanawasa died following a stroke.