independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Chavez plans for treatment in Cuba

President Hugo Chavez will travel to Cuba for treatment (AP)

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has announced plans to travel to Cuba for more medical treatment after spending much of the past 18 months fighting cancer.

In a written request to the legislature, Mr Chavez said doctors have recommended he "begin special treatment consisting of various sessions of hyperbaric oxygenation" and physical therapy to continue "consolidating the process of strengthening health".

The request did not provide more details about the treatment or Mr Chavez's condition and was promptly approved by allied politicians at a special session in the city of Maracay.

National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello read the request on television.

It said Mr Chavez would travel to Cuba as soon as Tuesday. It did not say how long he will stay, though it said he would be back by January 10, when he is being sworn in for a fourth term. Venezuelan law requires presidents to receive legislative approval before leaving the country for extended periods.

The treatment that Mr Chavez is to undergo generally involves breathing pure oxygen while in a pressurised, sealed chamber.

Its value is well-established for treating burns, carbon monoxide poisoning and some other medical conditions, and to aid wound healing and help repair bone and tissue damaged by radiation treatments.

However, the American Cancer Society says there is no evidence the treatment can cure cancer.

Press Association

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