Nelson Mandela ‘responds to treatment but remains in critical condition’ – South African Government

Nelson Mandela remains in a ‘stable but critical’ condition and ‘continues to respond to treatment’, the South African government has said . 

The statement, the first official update on the former president’s condition since he left hospital in September, said: ‘The health of the former president remains much the same.’

It was released after President Jacob Zuma visited Mr Mandela at his home today.

The 95-year-old is still receiving intensive care at home after being discharged from hospital on September 1. He was admitted three months earlier for a lung infection.

The government has largely refused to give details about Mr Mandela’s condition, citing the need for privacy, but said today ‘he continues to recover’.

Mr Mandela’s oldest grandson, Mandla Mandela, who visited the former statesman on Sunday, said he found him in a ‘good state.

‘He is still progressing steadily but very much under a critical condition,’ Mandla Mandela told reporters.

However, Mandela’s former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela this week told a local newspaper that he remains ‘quite ill’ and is unable to speak because of tubes being used to clear his lungs of liquid.

‘He remains quite ill, but thank God the doctors were able to pull him through from that (last) infection.’

His lung problems date back to his time in jail when he was diagnosed with early stage tuberculosis.

Mr Mandela, who spent 27 years in apartheid jails before becoming South Africa’s first black leader, has faced several health scares.The Nobel Peace Prize winner is under the care of 22 doctors. While his pneumonia has cleared, his lungs remain sensitive, Ms Madikizela-Mandela said, adding that it was ‘difficult for him’.

‘He remains very sensitive to any germs, so he has to be kept literally sterile. The bedroom there is like an ICU (intensive care unit) ward,’ she told the Sunday Times.

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