Zambian President In Coma

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Saeed Abdel Fattah Essa, said the president was in a semi-coma but "still alive" when evacuated to Paris from Egypt. A semi-coma is a mild or partial comatose state. The Zambian president had a brain hemorrhage which Egyptian doctors managed to stop, Essa said. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak visited Mwanawasa at the hospital before he was flown to France, Essa said

[International: Africa]


Zambia's president was hospitalized in Paris on Wednesday, a French official said, after medical treatment in Egypt for what hospital officials said was a brain hemorrhage. His condition was not immediately clear.

President Levy Mwanawasa was receiving medical care at Val-de-Grace military hospital in Paris, a frequent destination for French and foreign dignitaries, according to a French official involved in diplomacy.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to media about the issue.
Mwanawasa, 59, fell ill during an African Union summit in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik and was rushed to a local hospital on Sunday.

The Zambian leader has been a critic of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, whose recent re-election in a runoff vote widely condemned as a sham was the pressing topic at the summit. Some African delegates said Mwanawasa's absence hurt attempts to put pressure on Mugabe.

The head of the Egyptian hospital that treated Mwanawasa, Saeed Abdel Fattah Essa, said the president was in a semi-coma but "still alive" when evacuated to Paris from Egypt. A semi-coma is a mild or partial comatose state.

The Zambian president had a brain hemorrhage which Egyptian doctors managed to stop, Essa said. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak visited Mwanawasa at the hospital before he was flown to France, Essa said.

Zambia's vice president said late Tuesday in Lusaka that Mwanawasa's condition was stable.

The French Foreign Ministry declined to comment on whether Mwanawasa was in France for treatment, and the Val-de-Grace hospital also refused to confirm his presence. France has very strict guidelines governing medical privacy.

Dignitaries who have sought care at Val-de-Grace include President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was treated for a throat abscess last year, and his predecessor, Jacques Chirac, who was hospitalized for a week in 2005 with what was widely believed to be a minor stroke.

Others who have been treated at Val-de-Grace have included Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and the last emperor of Vietnam, Bao Dai, who died there in 1997. A handful of African leaders have also gone to Val-de-Grace for treatment.

Mwanawasa, a lawyer and Zambia's third president since the country won independence from Britain in 1964, won praise from some Zambians and many Western investors and donors for free-market policies and a high profile anti-graft campaign. His corruption efforts targeted his predecessor and former mentor, Frederick Chiluba.


(The Associated Press).



 

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