Mugabe and other African leaders who died seeking medical attention abroad
News / 6 September 2019, 11:03am / BOTHO MOLOSANKWE
When former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe died at a Singapore Hospital, he joined a number of African leaders who left their counties to seek medical treatment overseas.
Mugabe had been receiving treatment at the South East Asian country for years. When he left Zimbabwe in May this year, it was believed that he would be there only for a few weeks.
However, he never returned home and died on September 6.
While many Zimbabweans angrily took to Twitter to say the former leader leader destroyed healthcare in his country only to seek the best medical treatment in Singapore, he is not the only African leader to shun his country's hospitals in time of medical need.
Zambia's Michael Sata
July 6 1937 - October 28 2014
The late president of Zambia was in power for three years and died at the King Edward VII's Hospital in the UK where he had travelled for medical treatment.
Zambia's Levy Mwanawasa
September 3 1948 - August 19 2008
Mwanawasa ruled Zambia from from 2002 until 2008. He travelled to France for medical treatment after suffering a stroke and died at Hospital D'instruction Des Armées Percy, Clamart.
Ethiopia's Meles Zenawi Asres
May 8 1955 - August 20 2012
Asres was Ethiopea's prime minister from 1995 to until 2012. It's believed that he went to Brussles, Belgium for a minor procedure and was recuperating well when he developed an infection overnight and died.
Guinea Bissau's Malam Bacai Sanhá
May 5 1947- January 9 2012
The leader of Guinea Bissau flew to France to be treated for what was believed to be advanced diabetes. However, he died in a France hospital.
Gabon's Omar Bongo
December 30 1935 - June 8 2009
President Omar Bongo ruled Gabon for 42 years and travelled to Barcelona, Spain for treatment of cancer. However, he died of cardiac arrest.
Nigeria's former first lady Stella Obasanjo
November 14 1945 - October 23 2005
Obasanjo, who was the wife of the sitting president at the time Olesogun Obasanjo, travelled to Spain for cosmetic surgery. However, his doctor misplaced a tube designed for a liposuction procedure into her abdominal cavity. Obasanjo sustained a punctured colon and lacerated liver and died two days after the surgery.
While former Nigerian president Umaru Musa Yar’Adua died in Nigeria in 2010, he had been travelling to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment. In November 2009 he once again left Nigeria for Saudi Arabia for what is believed to have been for Acute Pericarditis, an inflammatory condition of the coverings of the heart.
He only returned to Nigeria in February 2010 and died in May.
The current president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has also been seeking medical treatment in the UK. It was also reported that in 2017 he spent more time in the UK getting medical treatment than he did in his own country.