Former South African President Nelson Mandela is making "steady improvement" after being treated for pneumonia and doctors say he is doing much better than he was a week ago when he was admitted to the hospital, according to a statement by the South African presidency. Doctors drained excess fluid from his lungs and he is breathing without difficulty, NBC News reported. Mandela was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday from a recurring lung infection that started in December, and on Monday, the presidency issued a statement saying that there has been no "significant change in his condition" and that relatives have been visiting him in the hospital. Mandela spent 18 days in the hospital in December and was treated for a lung infection and gallstones, according to NBC News. The former anti-apartheid icon contracted tuberculosis when he was a political prisoner under the apartheid regime, resulting in a history of lung problems.