It is now over fifty years since Dr. Albert Schweitzer established a hospital near the?
It is now over fifty years since Dr. Albert Schweitzer established a hospital near the township of Lambarene, in central Gabon. When it was built the hospital was one of the most modern in Africa, but Dr. Schweitzer made few changes after that. Now, twelve years after the doctor's death, building work is once more under way.
SYNOPSIS: These buildings are part of the original hospital. It is almost unchanged since Dr. Schweitzer's day. A few yards away, in a tree-shaded cemetery lies the grave of the doctor, marked by a simple stone cross -- as are the graves of other Europeans who once worked here, in the early pioneer days.
Now, the hospital is in the process of being transformed. Three years ago it was almost forced to close. A few months ago workmen moved in to start work on a four million dollar project that will make the hospital one of the most modern in central Africa. More than half of the finance is being provided by the Gabonese Government -- the rest by the United States, Holland and Switzerland. The first stage should be open in September, about the time of the 13th anniversary of Dr. Swchweitzer's death.
A second stage has already been planned, to include a tropical disease research unit, while a further third stage, to include a restaurant, cafeteria and recreational rooms, is being considered. All very different from the conditions Dr. Schweitzer once worked under, from this study, lined with books and pictures. This building has been preserved as a small museum.