No cause for alarm over Mandela's health: presidency

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 10, 2012 10:35 hrs

-ANI): There was no cause for alarm over former president Nelson Mandela's health, the presidency said on Monday, after he was admitted to a Pretoria hospital on Saturday to undergo a medical test.

"He (Mandela) is in the hands of a good medical team," presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj said.

The public have been anxiously awaiting word on his conditions. The presidency said on Saturday that the test "is consistent with his age."

Responding to the public concern, Maharaj said the government will release an update on Mandela's health once his doctors updates the presidency.

On Sunday morning, President Jacob Zuma visited Mandela and found him "comfortable, and in good care." Zuma said there was no need to panic as Mandela was doing well.

This is not the first time that Mandela was hospitalized in the past two years. In January 2011, he was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital for an acute respiratory infection. In February this year, he spent a night in a hospital for a minor diagnostic surgery to determine the cause of an abdominal complain.

Mandela turned 94 on July 18 this year. His health has been a focus of concern. He was imprisoned for 27 years during apartheid, and was elected the country's first black president in 1994.

The Mail and Guardian newspaper on Monday quoted a specialist physician and critical care specialist in Johannesburg, Charles Muzamhindo, as saying that at his age, Mandela being admitted to hospital carries a "certain level of risk."

"The risk of an elderly person contracting an opportunistic infection in hospital is of course greater than that of other age groups," Muzamhindo said.

"I'm not sure we should press the panic button every single time a man of his age has the sniffles," Mark Sonderup, vice- chairperson at the SA Medical Association, told the paper. (Xinhua-ANI)

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