African Leaders Who Have Sought Healthcare Outside Africa

Most Africans don’t have access to the most basic health facilities or even first aid treatment when they are ill. This has never been the concern of most African presidents. As long as they and their families get treatments overseas, all is settled for them.

There are many examples of African presidents who have sought treatment outside Africa. Some actually died in office while on treatment abroad, or at least they had received treatment abroad.

Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria is the leader of the pack. He spent more than 100 days in the UK for medical treatment in 2017.

Patrice Talon, the President of the Republic of Benin, underwent surgery in France in June 2017.

Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe for the past 37 years, frequently seeks eye-related treatment in Singapore, traveled thrice in 2017.

Jose Eduardo dos Santos who has just stepped down as Angola’s leader after 38 years, also travels to Spain for treatment in may 2017.

In October 2014, President Michael Sata of Zambia died in the UK, after being taken to Israel and India for treatments.

In 2014, Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria has been to France twice for treatment.

In November 2012, Guinea Bissau’s Malam Bacai Sanha died in France.

In August 2012, Ethiopia’s Meles Zenawi died in Belgium after 17 years in power.

In July 2012, Ghana’s Atta Mills died in Accra after returning from a brief medical spell in the US.

In May 2010, Nigeria’s Musa Yar’Adua died in Abuja after returning from treatment in Saudi Arabia.

In June 2009, Gabon’s President Omar Bongo Ondimba died in Spain. He had ruled for 38 years.

In August 2008, Zambia’s President Levy Mwanawasa died in France.

In December 2008, Guinea’s President Lansana Conté died in Conakry after 24 years in power. He had been receiving treatment in Switzerland.

In February 2005, after 38 years in office, President Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo died on board the aircraft that was evacuating him for emergency treatment abroad.

In March 1984, President Ahmed Sekou Toure of Guinea passed away in the US after 26 years as President. He had been rushed to the US after being stricken in Saudi Arabia the previous day.

As presidents and Head of States, their medical expenses are paid from their country’s purse (tax payer’s money). This courtesy also extends to senior government employees.

Note: Nelson Mandela received treatment and care in his own country till he passed away.


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