• Wednesday, August 20, 2014
  • A program of IPS Inter Press Service supported by the Dutch MDG3 Fund

    Gabon’s people-friendly hospital

    11 Aug 2009


    The Ogooué seen from Dr. Schweitzer's home. Photo: M. Sayagues

    The Ogooué River seen from Dr. Schweitzer's home. Photo: M. Sayagues

    I decided to visit my Nicaraguan friend who stays in a village called Fougamou, in central Gabon. So I looked up the nearest town,  Lambaréné. It turned out to have a museum honouring Dr. Albert Schweitzer, who arrived there in 1913, built a hospital, and won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1952.

    I had never been interested in him but it seemed like a truly off-the-beaten path museum, just my kind. But what sold me on Lambaréné was the name of its river:    Ogooué.  I HAD to see a river with such a wondrous name.

    So I set off to Lambaréné on my way to Fougamou. Believe me, I was in the green heart of Africa. Green, as in rainforest.

    I am glad I went. The river is awesome. The museum is charming. It preserves the old hospital and personal quarters from the 1920s as they were originally.   More »