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Sushma Swaraj suffers kidney failure

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, who is suffering from kidney failure, is undergoing tests for a kidney transplant, which is the only permanent solution for the life-threatening condition.

The 64-year-old minister was admitted to AIIMS in April for nearly three weeks with complaints of fever and chest infection. She is also a known diabetic, said sources.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, undergoing treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for kidney failure, might have to wait for at least 15-30 days before she finds a matching kidney donor, sources at AIIMS said.

“Currently there is need of a donor, for which the emphasis is for someone within the blood relation. However, the problem is that her (Swaraj’s) daughter who could be the donor also has diabetes, making it impossible,” said the source.

Government sources said she “continues to remain engaged in her work” despite her health condition. Swaraj has two junior ministers — V K Singh and MJ Akbar – to assist her in her official work, besides foreign secretary S Jaishankar. Her last overseas trip was in September when she addressed the UN General Assembly in New York. Akbar attended other sideline events.

“Her travel plans shortly, and other engagements will be decided on doctors’ advice,” the official added. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi wished her a speedy recovery. “Sushmaji we are with you in this difficult time. Hope you get better very soon,” Rahul tweeted. Some of Swaraj’s tests reports that HT accessed show increased creatinine levels, indicating impaired kidney function. “Chronic kidney disease has different stages and is typically categorised between 1 and 5. Five is when a person becomes a transplant candidate,” said a doctor at AIIMS.

Another doctor said Swaraj was stable, and her diabetes was under control but several other parameters needed to be checked to ensure her fitness for surgery. Swaraj was last admitted to AIIMS on October 25 to undergo a series of blood tests to assess her kidney function.

Sushma Swaraj, born February 14, 1952, is a Bharatiya Janata Party leader and the minister of external affairs of India. Her father was a prominent RSS member. At 25, she became the country’s youngest Cabinet minister in Haryana government and had also served as chief minister of Delhi. She has been elected six times to the Lok Sabha and three times as MLA. Holding various portfolios in the Union Cabinet, she has been Minister of Information and Broadcasting (during the 13-day Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government in 1996 when she started live telecast of Lok Sabha debates), Minister of Information and Broadcasting; Telecommunications and health minister. She was elected from Vidisha Lok Sabha constituency in Madhya Pradesh in 2014.

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