Ivory Coast prime minister in France for medical tests
PRETORIA - Ivory Coast prime minister, Amadou Gon Coulibaly has been evacuated to France for medical checks, Al Jazeera reported.
The broadcaster said a brief statement from the presidency on Sunday provided no additional details about Gon Coulibaly's health status.
The 61-year-old undertook self isolation in March because of possible exposure to the coronavirus, but ended up testing negative for the infection.
Defence minister Hamed Bakayoko, who recovered from the virus last month, will serve as interim prime minister in Gon Coulibaly's absence.
According to figures released by the World Health Organisation on Monday, Ivory Coast had recorded over 1,398 Covid-19 infections, one of the highest in west Africa, accompanied by 17 Covid-19-related deaths.
For many years, African leaders have opted to fly overseas to seek medical care in countries considered first world, while neglecting inadequate health systems in their own nations.
Presidents from Nigeria, Malawi, Ethiopia, Gabon and Zambia have died overseas while seeking medical treatment.
Last year, Zimbabwe's long standing president, Robert Mugabe, died in a foreign hospital in Singapore. The 95-year-old had frequently been accused of running the country's economy to the ground, including its healthcare capabilities.
Many Zimbabwean women have opted to cross tenuous borders to give birth in South Africa, where they say the public healthcare is better than in their country.
According to a Daily Maverick article, in 2019 alone, Mugabe spent more than 150 days in Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore where the minimum daily cost for his care was an estimated $200 (about R3700).
Zimbabwean taxpayers footed the bill.
So established is the practice within some African leaders, that former South African health minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, is on record saying that Africa is the only continent where its leaders seek medical services outside the continent, instead of upgrading health systems in their own nations.African News Agency