News / Africa

Gabon Government Improves Public Access to Healthcare

Gabon President Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba has launched an ambitious development agenda to transform the country.
Gabon President Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba has launched an ambitious development agenda to transform the country.

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Infectious diseases specialist, Doctor Jean Paul Gonzalez, who is director general of the International Center for Medical Research of Franceville, (CIRMF)

Peter Clottey
This is Part Three of a six-part series on Gabon
Continue to Parts:     1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

 

In Gabon, the government says it has begun building new medical facilities to make sure all citizens have access to quality health care.

Besides building the Angondje Cancer Institute in the capital, Libreville, the government said it is restructuring public hospitals and establishing university hospitals specializing in surgery, maternal and child health, orthopedics and trauma treatment.

The World Health Organization reports HIV/AIDS and malaria are “leading causes of disease burden” in Gabon, followed by premature and low birth weight infants and tuberculosis.

WHO said Gabon spends about $650 per capita each year on health care, a figure that is far below the $1,300 per capita in neighboring Equatorial Guinea, but well above the $122 in Cameroon and $126 for the Republic of Congo.

The average life expectancy in Gabon is 62 years and ranges from five to 11 years higher than its closest neighbors.

Infectious disease specialist, Doctor Jean Paul Gonzalez, director general of the International Center for Medical Research of Franceville, (CIRMF) said the organization is backing the government’s objectives.

“We are always following the demand of the public health system. We were in the field for HIV [research] in the beginning so we know more about HIV and the people being treated here in Gabon,” said Gonzalez. He added, “We are following infected people so we understand how to adjust their treatment. For Ebola, we are the [research] leader, so now the healthcare system knows how to handle … an epidemic of Ebola.”

CIRMF’s research findings and training, he said, provide critical information to doctors in Gabon to treat infectious diseases. The center is funded mostly by the government, with additional support from USAID and others.

WHO said Gabon’s leading noncommunicable conditions are neuropsychiatric conditions, which include addictions, eating disorders and degenerative diseases, followed cardiovascular disease and disorders or illnesses affecting the eyes, ears, skin, etc.

Though some experts have faulted Gabon’s health care, especially in rural areas, Gonzales says programs are underway to improve the situation.
 “We train Gabon doctoral students to be future leaders in medical research here and abroad,” said Gonzalez. “The fallout of our research directly applies to the medical system and training the people to excellence to solve problems here in Gabon.”

Gabon’s First Lady Sylvia Bongo Ondimba has also called for personal responsibility regarding healthcare. Regarding AIDS, she is quoted on her foundation’s website as saying, “Each person, at his or her respective level, must be accountable for his or her actions and think of the wellbeing of our communities, of collective health.”

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid