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Ailing Zambian president to seek treatment abroad

Doctors said the treatment required for the president was unavailable in Zambia.

FILE: Zambian president Edgar Lungu talks to foreign affairs minister Harry Kalaba during a military exhibition march in October 2014. Picture: A

LUSAKA - Newly-elected Zambian president Edgar Lungu has been advised by doctors to undergo specialist treatment abroad to correct a narrowing of the food pipe which caused him to fall ill over the weekend, the presidency said.

Medical tests carried out on Lungu at a military hospital in the capital Lusaka had ruled out malaria as earlier suspected, the presidency said in a statement on Monday.

Lungu, 58, had to leave an International Women's Day event in the capital Lusaka on Sunday when he felt uncomfortable.

He assumed the helm of Africa's second-largest copper producer in January after winning a narrow victory in an election to replace former leader Michael Sata, who died in office in October aged 77, while undergoing treatment in London.

Doctors said the treatment required for the president was unavailable in Zambia.

"President Lungu has a history of the condition of narrowing of the food pipe which was corrected 30 years ago... and appears to have recurred," the presidency said.

"Doctors have recommended that President Lungu undergoes a high-tech medical procedure which is currently unavailable in Zambia and therefore he has been referred for specialised treatment abroad."

It was not immediately clear when Lungu would go for the treatment abroad, or which country he would go to.

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