Doctors work hard for a Mandela turnaround

South African doctors say former President Nelson Mandela remains in critical but stable condition. Government officials say Mandela has demonstrated a great resilience. 

By , Associated Press

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    A couple walks in front of a well wisher's large banner of Nelson Mandela in June 2013, outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where the former South African president is being treated in Pretoria, South Africa.
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Former South African leader Nelson Mandela remains in critical but stable condition in hospital, though "medical interventions" are required because his health sometimes becomes unstable, the South African government said Saturday.

Doctors are working hard for a "turnaround" in the condition of 95-year-old Mandela, who was admitted to a hospital in June with what officials said was a recurring lung infection, the office of South African President Jacob Zuma said in a statement.

In the statement, Zuma's office quoted doctors as saying the anti-apartheid leader has "demonstrated great resilience" and that his condition has tended to stabilize after medical treatments when his health deteriorates.

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"Doctors are still working hard to effect a turnaround and a further improvement in his health and to keep the former President comfortable," the statement said.

Mandela remains very fragile, and many details of his medical condition have not been divulged or are tightly controlled by his family and Zuma's office. Zuma urged South Africans to pray for Mandela and to keep him in their thoughts at all times.

Since June 8, when Mandela was taken to a Pretoria hospital to be treated for a recurring lung infection, there has been a groundswell of concern in South Africa and around the world for the man who spent 27 years as a prisoner under apartheid and then emerged to negotiate an end to white racist rule before becoming president in the country's first all-race elections in 1994.

Zuma's office said the president will travel to Malaysia Saturday on an official visit during which he will receive a peace award on behalf of Mandela.

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