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Nigerian president to return “soon”: ruling party

By on December 1, 2009

Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua’s condition is improving after treatment for a heart ailment in Saudi Arabia and he will return home soon, the country’s ruling party said on Monday.

Yar’Adua, 58, went to Saudi Arabia suddenly a week ago for medical checks after complaining of severe chest pains.

He is being treated in the Saudi Red Sea port of Jeddah for acute pericarditis — an inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart that can restrict normal beating — but is responding well to treatment, officials have said.

“Reports reaching us have it that the president is improving steadily and will soon return to continue the good work he is doing,” the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said in a statement.

Yar’Adua has travelled to Saudi Arabia in the past for treatment for a chronic kidney problem, raising questions about whether he will be fit enough to stand for a second term in 2011 elections in Africa’s most populous nation.

Pericarditis usually lasts one to three weeks, but is treatable with drugs or, in extreme cases, surgery. About 20 percent of pericarditis patients have a recurrence within months, according to the American Heart Association.


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