Nightly News   |  September 01, 2013

Mandela returns home, but health remains frail

Doctors say former South African president Nelson Mandela’s health is unstable.  After three months in the hospital, he returned home with a team of health professionals to watch him. NBC’s Rohit Kachroo reports.

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>>> to the health now of former south african president , nelson mandela . he is home tonight after spending nearly three months in the hospital . doctors say the 95-year-old anti-apartheid hero remains in fragile health. nbc's correspondent is in johannesburg for us tonight. row hit, what are you hearing from the family tonight?

>> reporter: carl, for some time, members of the mandela family have wanted him to be discharged from the hospital and returned here to his home, where officials say he can receive the same level of care with perhaps a little more comfort. nelson mandela is out of the hospital , but his return home does not mean a return to full health. south african government says his condition remains critical and is at times unstable. at the suburban mansion to which he returned today, medical equipment has been installed so doctors can continue to care for him.

>> we have decided that they have reconfigured the house so that he can receive proper intensive care , just as he would receive in hospital . and under those circumstances, they have decide to discharge him and they will treat him adequately.

>> reporter: team caring for him at home is the same team as the hospital and his health is reviewed every 12 hours by a panel of doctors.

>> there are hilt conditions that warrant another admission to hospital in the future, this will be done.

>> reporter: the former president, the anti-apartheid struggle, a recurring lung infection for three months but government officials spoke of his fortitude. his eldest daughter referred to it. what's left clear for many south africans is precisely what nelson mandela 's return home tells us about the state of his health. usually when someone is discharged from the hospital , that indicates a big improvement in their condition, but with nelson mandela , that is clearly not the case. carl?