Zambian President Edgar Lungu’s doctors have recommended he seek specialised treatment abroad after he collapsed at a Women’s Day event in Lusaka, the presidency said Monday.
“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,” spokesman Amos Chanda told reporters.
Lungu, who only came to power in the small southern African country six weeks ago, is currently in a military hospital in the capital after collapsing on Sunday.
The presidency initially said Lungu was receiving treatment for malaria but on Monday also disclosed he was suffering from achalasia, or a narrowing of the oesophagus, which led to his collapse.
“The medical team attending to president Lungu has explored options of correcting the narrowing of the food pipe that led to his illness on Sunday,” said Chanda.
Lungu won a snap election in late January called after the death in office of president Michael Sata in October.
Rumours that Sata was ill had circulated widely before his death, but were always denied by the government.
Sata was Zambia’s second leader to die in office in six years, sparking calls for presidential hopefuls to undergo medical checks to guarantee their fitness.
Chanda said Lungu, who fell after standing for about 20 minutes during Sunday’s ceremony, had previously had the same condition corrected 30 years ago, but that it had recurred.