TODAY   |  July 18, 2013

On 95th birthday, Mandela said to be improving

As well-wishers celebrate former South African president Nelson Mandela’s birthday outside the hospital he has been staying in for a lung infection, family members are saying his condition is improving. NBC’s Ron Allen reports.

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>>> encouraging news about former south african president nelson mandela , today on his 95th birthday. nbc's ron allen is in pretoria, where there's a huge celebration, as expected, right outside that hospital.

>> reporter: good morning, tamron. it is absolutely an amazing day here. hundreds upon hundreds of well wishers coming here to say thank you, to say happy birthday to nelson mandela , as he recovers in this pretoria hospital. we've seen children singing happy birthday , marching bands, just an outpouring of love and affection for the man they call mandiva here. he is still in critical condition with a severe lung infection, but the word from his family is that his condition is improving steadily. there's been talk of him perhaps being able to go home at some time soon, being discharged. at this point, he's still considered critical until doctors see a more general trend of improvement. but today's a day to celebrate, a day to say happy birthday . nelson mandela still planning to make this world a better place on his