Nelson Mandela is responding well to treatment for a lung infection. The former South African president was admitted to the hospital last night for treatment of the infection.
The South African government released a statement on Mandela’s health, saying that he “has the best possible expert medical treatment and comfort.”
Mandela previously spent 18 days in the hospital for a lung infection and gallstones. But doctors have advised that the nation’s first black president is “responding positively to the treatment he is undergoing.”
Meanwhile, current President Jacob Zuma released a statement asking the world to pray for Mandela and his family. He added, “We have full confidence in the medical team and know that they will do everything possible to ensure recovery.”
The anti-apartheid activist was also admitted to a hospital in Pretoria on March 10 for routine medical test to manage his existing health conditions. He has made rare public appearances, though he remains extremely popular in the country. Nelson Mandela is considered by many to be the father of the nation because of his leadership in the struggle against apartheid.
He also served as the country’s first black president between 1994 and 1999. But Mandela’s health has caused concerns as of late. Spokesman Mac Maharaj added of the current visit:
“They prefer to act on the side of caution, and the moment they felt there was a recurrence of the lung infection, they felt that it warranted immediate hospitalization given his age and given his history.”
The governing African National Congress also asked for prayer for Nelson Mandela and his family. They added, “We are confident that the treatment will be successful as he is in professional and competent hands.” It is believed that Mandela’s lungs were damaged when he was detained on Robben Island in the 1980s.
The former South African president served 18 of his 27-year sentence for sabotage. Nelson Mandela’s lungs were likely damaged from tuberculosis and when he worked in a prison quarry.