Lungu leaves Women’s Day after falling sick
LUSAKA. — Zambian President Edgar Lungu yesterday excused himself from this year’s International Women’s Day celebrations in Lusaka after “not feeling well”, his spokesperson said.
The Zambian leader, who was at the National Heroes Stadium for the event, told hundreds of people who had thronged the stadium that he could not continue on the podium because he was not feeling well and asked to be ex- cused.
“I am not feeling too well, but it is not something that should worry the nation . . . the proceedings should continue . . . I will see you tomorrow,” the Zambian leader told the gathering whose proceedings were broadcast live on state television.
His spokesperson, Amos Chanda, later told the gathering that the Zambian leader left in order to seek emergency medical assistance.
The spokesperson said earlier tests had revealed traces of malaria and high levels of fatigue, adding that the Zambian leader had taken the doctor’s advice to rest.
This is the first time that a Zambian leader has come out in the open on his illness after the death of two sitting presidents.
Meanwhile, Zambia’s First Lady, Esther Lungu, will today join United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as key speaker at the launch of the UN’s progress report on the global strategy for women’s and children’s health 2010-2015 in New York, a statement obtained by Xinhua yesterday said.
The Zambian First Lady will be part of the 59th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women and will speak at the event alongside the UN chief and the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, according to the statement released by Secretary for Press and Public Relations at the Permanent Mission of Zambia to the UN, Chibaula Silwamba.
“The event aims to galvanise high-level political support for this work to transition into the post-2015 development framework, including for the development and launch of an updated global strategy for women’s, children’s and adolescent’s health later this year,” the statement said.
The UN chief launched the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health and Every Woman Every Child Movement in 2010 to advance progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that focus on women and children’s health, the statement added.
The 59th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, dubbed Beijing+20 is taking place two decades after the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing that marked a significant turning point for the global agenda on gender equality. — Xinhua.