Last week it was reported that Nelson Mandela has been treated for an acute respiratory infection and is responding well. Mandela spent two nights in hospital last week and is currently receiving home-based care in Johannesburg and is being treated by military doctors. One of his doctors, Dr Vejay Ramlakan , commented ‘His amazing positive attitude allows him to cope with the difficulties of old age with the greatest of grace.’
Such respiratory infections are common amongst people his age. Mandela is said to be in good spirits and his health is no longer in danger. Since contracting tuberculosis (TB) in 1988 during his imprisonment at Robben Island, Mandela has suffered multiple respiratory infections. It is rumoured that Mandela was treated for a collapsed lung, which can occur if there is underlying lung disease such as emphysema, asthma, TB or pneumonia, according to Prof Gillian Ainslie, pulmonologist of the University of Cape Town Lung Institute. She also explained that TB can permanently scar the lung, predisposing him to future infections.