Hospitalised Mandela has 'made progress'
- Published: 11/12/2012 at 04:46 PM
- Online news:
Nelson Mandela is making progress and doctors are happy with his response to treatment for a lung infection, the South African government said Wednesday.
File picture of former South African president Nelson Mandela, seen in August 2008 at his home in Cape Town. Mandela is making progress and doctors are happy with his response to treatment for a lung infection, the South African government said Wednesday.
"Doctors attending to former president Mandela have reported that he has made progress during the past 24 hours and they are satisfied with the way he is responding to treatment," it said in a statement.
The 94-year-old anti-apartheid hero is spending a fifth day in hospital for a recurrent lung infection, a common condition among the elderly, but one which experts warn can turn serious.
He is being treated at a military hospital in the capital Pretoria.
The former president who led South Africa to democracy in 1994 has a long history of lung problems dating back decades when he contracted tuberculosis while in prison.
He was previously hospitalised for an acute respiratory infection in January 2011, when he was kept as an inpatient for two nights.
He was released in a stable condition for home-based care and intense medical monitoring.
In 1988, while serving his 27-year prison term, Mandela was diagnosed with early stage TB after being admitted to a hospital with a bad cough and weakness and having complained of dampness in his cell.
At the time, two litres of fluid were drained from his chest and he spent six weeks recuperating in the hospital before being transferred to a private clinic near his mainland Cape Town prison where he was the facility's first black patient.
His latest health scare became public on Saturday, when Mandela was flown from his rural home village of Qunu to a military hospital where he had to undergo tests which the authorities said were common for people of his age.
On Tuesday officials said the tests had revealed the nonagenarian had lung infection.
Medical experts say chest infections are a cause for concern in older people because it gets more difficult to clear out secretions, the less mobile they become.
President Jacob Zuma's spokesman Mac Maharaj said with a history of weak lungs, there is "susceptibility to infection, but there's also a history of successful treatment."
Over a decade after Mandela left office the tall grey-haired Nobel peace laureate retains a prominent place in the national psyche, and his health has become a subject of global obsession as he has aged.
About the author
- Writer: AFP
Position: News agency