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Former Bangladesh PM hospitalised: official

world Updated: Mar 12, 2008 09:46 IST

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Detained former Bangladesh premier Sheikh Hasina Wajed was hospitalised on Tuesday for treatment of an ear problem that doctors say could leave her deaf, an official said.

Sheikh Hasina, 60, jailed on corruption charges last July by the country's military-backed government, was taken briefly to hospital last month complaining of ear trouble, high blood pressure and other ailments.

"She was admitted this morning at the capital's Square Hospital. Doctors will now examine her ear and suggest measures," deputy prisons inspector general major Shamsul Haider Siddiqui said.

The former premier was hospitalised at the suggestion of doctors.

Hearing in her left ear was severely damaged in a 2004 grenade assassination attempt and she also suffered damaged to her right ear.

She went to the United States for treatment but now risks going deaf if she does not get further treatment abroad, the country's top ear specialist, Pran Gopal Datta, told AFP on Monday.

She needs readjustment or replacement of her sophisticated hearing aids that only the Florida hospital which gave them to her can fix, the doctor said.

"Otherwise, she may permanently turn deaf," the doctor said. "Already, she sometimes has to reply on lip-reading to understand what a person is saying."

"In the prison, her health has deteriorated and she hears a lot of noises because the hearing aids are (malfunctioning)," he said.

Last month, Sheikh Hasina, who was prime minister from 1996 to 2001, went on trial for allegedly extorting 435,000 dollars from a power company owner. The trial was adjourned after her lawyers challenged the legality of the case.