Hasina declines to get admitted in hospital

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Dhaka, Mar 10 (UNI) Bangladesh's detained ex-premier Sheikh Hasina, who is suffering from multiple health complications today declined to get admitted into hospital despite jail officials' request on the advice of her personal physicians.

''Sheikh Hasina is not interested in getting admitted to hospital,'' medicine specialist Prof Abdullah told reporters outside a makeshift jail after examining the ailing leader.

Hasina (61) ruled the country as Prime Minister from 1996 to 2001 and was arrested by the incumbent military-backed caretaker government on July 16 last year in link with an extortion case.

In the last three days seven specialists of her choice from different disciplines examined the ex-premier at the makeshift jail in highly secured parliament building complex.

Hasina has been suffering from serious problems to her ears and eyes apart from high blood pressure and skin allergy.

Her ears were badly damaged following the impact of grenade attacks at her public rally in Dhaka on August 21, 2004. She recieved treatment earlier in America and now uses a hearing aid. But the device became inoperative.

Eye specialist Dr Modasser Ali who examined Hasina yesterday said since she has no confidence in medical treatment inside the country, she should be sent abroad ''immediately''.

ENT specialist Dr Pran Gopal Dutta said he recommended the jail authority for sending her to the US on an emergency basis, failing which she would lose her hearing site forever.

He said her ear treatment is only possible in the US. ''I have seen the device of her ears. It is highly technical.'' IG (Prisons) Brig Gen Zakir Hassan today told reporters that the jail authority requested the ex-premiere to get admitted to hospital.

''My stomach has now turned into a pharmacy as I am taking so much medicine for last three months,'' Hasina was quoted by Prof Abdullah as having saying.

The former prime minister's nuclear scientist husband Dr Wazed Mia recently appealed to Bangladesh president Prof Dr Iajuddin Ahmed and Chief Advisor of the caretaker government Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed to immediately release her to make way for her treatment in America.

But, the government has not yet made any specific response.

Last week her party's detained general secretary and former Commerce Minister Abdul Jalil was released on one month's parole for treatment at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore. Mr Jalil is suffering from kidney and heart ailment.

UNI XC RJ PM1843

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