Nelson Mandela spends fifth day in hospital, condition is improving says government

Former South African president Nelson Mandela is improving after spending his fifth day in hospital where he is receiving treatment for pneumonia, the government said on Sunday.

Mandela, 94, has been in and out of hospital in recent months and has struggled with lung infections. The former president contracted tuberculosis during his 27 years in prison and has had compromised lung health ever since, reports The New York Times. He has not made a public appearance since 2010 due to fragile health.

On Sunday, the South African government released a statement to update the public on Mandela’s health: “President Nelson Mandela had a restful day and continues to receive treatment. Government is satisfied that the doctors are providing the former President with the best medical care possible to enable his recovery and comfort. They have reported a further improvement in his condition.”

The noted improvement comes after doctors drained fluid from Mandela’s lungs that had built up after an infection. Mandela is now able to breath more easily, according to a report in The Telegraph.