Nelson Mandela*Nelson Mandela’s condition has improved since his recent re-entry into the hospital, reports show.

His string of doctor’s visits began in December, at which point he was treated for lung infection and underwent surgery for the removal of gallstones.

A diagnosis of pneumonia, and continuous respiratory decline, remain ongoing issues for the civil rights pioneer and South Africa’s first black president, who recently made his return home where he will receive additional care.

During Mandela’s hospitalization, doctors drained fluid from the 94-yeear-old’s lung area, making it easier for him to breathe.

In a statement prepared by current South African President Jacob Zuma’s direct office, the current state of Mandela’s health was described with cautious optimism.

Also acknowledged were the medical team and hospital staff assigned to Mandela and expressed was gratitude for South African supporters and others worldwide.