Suu Kyi’s Doctor Expresses Concern for Her Health

Aung San Suu Kyi addresses the International Labour Conference in Geneva on Thursday. (Photo: Reuters)

RANGOON – Aung San SuuKyi’s doctor expressed worry Friday that the Nobel Peace laureate’s whirlwind tour of Europe could weaken her health, after she fell ill on the second day of her two-week trip.

The 66-year-old opposition leader known for her steely grace and longtime struggle for democracy in Burma has a weak stomach when it comes to travel, said Pyone Moe Ei, one of Suu Kyi’s two personal physicians. Suu Kyi had similar bouts with weakness and vomiting during her rigorous nationwide campaign for a seat in Parliament earlier this year, which doctors attributed to exhaustion and motion sickness.

“I am very concerned for her health,” Pyone Moe Ei The Associated Press in Rangoon. “Considering her age, the amount of travel she’s doing, the time difference, lack of rest and her extremely tight schedule—it is very worrisome.”

Suu Kyi arrived late Wednesday night in Switzerland, on her first trip to Europe in 24 years. Her high-profile visit also includes stops in Norway, Ireland, England and France.

Thursday’s hectic schedule included speeches, receptions and news conferences first in Geneva and then in the Swiss capital Bern, where Suu Kyi looked pale and told reporters she felt exhausted. At one point she pressed a finger to her lips and motioned to an aide who rushed to her side with a bag. She then bent over and threw up before being escorted out of the room.

Suu Kyi canceled an evening dinner in Bern but resumed her schedule Friday with a visit to the Swiss parliament. A highlight of her trip is expected Saturday, when she will be in Norway to formally accept her Nobel Peace Prize 21 years late.

Suu Kyi’s doctor said she has no serious health problems but weighs a mere 48 kilograms (106 pounds), has low blood pressure and can get easily weakened by vomiting. Pyone Moe Ei said she had not spoken directly to Suu Kyi after her ill spell in Bern but had been in contact with people close to her. It was not immediately known what treatment, if any, Suu Kyi received.

Doctors in Burma had placed Suu Kyi on intravenous drips after motion sickness caused her to fall ill twice during her campaign in March.

The European trip is seen as a sign of gratitude to governments and organizations that supported Suu Kyi’s peaceful struggle against Burma’s former military rulers over more than two decades, 15 years of which she spent under house arrest.

Last month, Suu Kyi made her first trip out of Burma in 24 years to neighboring Thailand. Ahead of that trip, aides said she was preparing by packing her medicine for motion sickness.


One Response to Suu Kyi’s Doctor Expresses Concern for Her Health

  1. i have always been very concerned about Daw Suu’s diet. i don’t think she eats well at all. The best doctors in the world can not and will not be able to help her. What Daw Suu urgently needs is the services of a good nutritionist who can monitor round the clock every item she ingests.

    From here on, Daw Suu should be using every morsel of food measured as medicine for all that ails her. Rice, noodles and curry are simply inadequate.

    As to her weight, i wonder if she ever eats any nuts such as almonds and walnuts. What is the cooking medium used in her kitchen? What are the qualfications of her cook?

    Daw Suu’s diet is a matter of prime and urgent national concern and security. Everything else will flow from Daw Suu’s health and longevity.

    i am not an alarmist by nature, but going by what i have been observing over the years, i am only sounding a belated alarm.

    Let’s not delude ourselves.

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