Nigerian president diagnosed with heart diseases in Saudi Arabia

18:50, November 27, 2009      

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The Nigerian government said President Umaru Yar' Adua had been diagnosed of acute pericarditis(an inflammatory condition of the coverings of the heart) in a hospital in Saudi Arabia, after days of silence over his state of health, the Next newspaper reported on Friday.

Salihu Banye, the president's chief doctor, who is with him in Saudi Arabia, said this Thursday in a statement following the rumors making the rounds in the country that the president was dead.

The chief doctor said that more checks at the same hospital, where he had his last medical check-up in August, confirmed the initial diagnosis of the same condition.

"At about 3 p.m. local time on Friday, Nov. 20, after he returned from the Abuja Central Mosque where he performed the Jumat prayers, President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua complained of left sided severe chest pain," Banye said in a statement, explaining the circumstances which led to the president's trip to Saudi Arabia.

"Preliminary medical examinations suggested acute pericarditis, " he added.

"It was then decided that he should undertake confirmatory checks at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where he had his last medical check-up in August," Banye said.

"The medical review and tests undertaken at the hospital have confirmed the initial diagnosis that the President is indeed suffering from acute pericarditis," the doctor added.

According to him, the president is responding well to the treatment he is currently receiving.

"He is now receiving treatment for the ailment and is responding remarkably well," Banye said.

Olusegun Adeniyi, the president's spokesperson, said the vice president is now acting on behalf of the president.

He takes charge in the absence of the president, the spokesperson said.

"In this light, he will today receive Muslims at the Presidential Villa as part of activities marking the Id-el-Kabir,"he said.

The spokesperson told reporters that the President Yar'Adua felt really bad that people rumored him dead.

"He is a human being, naturally he will feel bad. This is not the first time, the President was aware of the rumor. He felt bad about it as any normal human being would," Adeniyi said. 

Source: Xinhua
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