News and Views
Liberian President Sirleaf Not ill, Rushed to India for Treatment, Government. Clarifies
In the wake of rising speculations Sunday that Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was flown out of the country to India for medical treatment after falling ill, Presidential Press Secretary Jerolinmek Piah clarified to FrontPageAfrica Monday that the reports are far from the truth and the president is in fact en route to Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Belgium for 3rd African-Arab Summit, Working Visit to Dubai, and European Development Days 2013.
The speculations heightened in media circles after the president’s departure Sunday without the usual release from the Executive Mansion which usually announced a presidential travel. But a presidential aide told FPA Monday that the release was not sent out prior to departure because the internet facility in the mansion was down.
“The President is in as good a health as anyone I know,” Press Secretary Piah said Monday. “Her hand has been taken out of cast. Her hand is healed and she is in good health.”
The president’s departure without an announcement fueled speculations that her health was in decline.
Sirleaf’s health has been an issue in recent weeks and president acknowledged in a Radio Monrovia interview recently that she underwent surgery for arthritis.
Said Sirleaf: “My health is very good, I'm pleased to report. As many know, I had the occasion very recently to check all of my vitals and they are all well in place, functioning well. However, I have been having a problem with arthritis, something that happens to many people, particularly as you begin to age. And that means in my wrist there had been a wearing out for using this hand for so long over many years of work, and so the cartilage in the wrist was beginning to wear out, and the doctor said it was necessary to reconstitute it, and so I had to go through surgery to get that done. It has been done; the recovery is well under way. Yes, it will take me a few weeks for the build-up to be firmly in place, but I expect when that period is over, my right hand will be back to full function. Everything else is functioning well. So, generally, at my age, I can say my health is very good.”