September 4 is the 6th anniversary of the death of one of the world's most prominent humanitarians - Dr.
September 4 is the 6th anniversary of the death of one of the world's most prominent humanitarians - Dr. Albert Schweizer, theologian, philosopher, organist and medical missionary. At the age of 30 he left a brilliant career in Europe to spend his life helping the sick in a small area of Gabon. this production includes library film of Dr Schweizer in the primitive surroundings of his hospital in 1945, and film shot last week (22-23 August) of the hospital today. The hospital is a great tribute to the life-long struggle of one man against suffering.
But the hospital is in trouble. Its finance always relied on contributions and donations, often raised by Dr Schweizer himself on organ playing sorties in Europe, Since his death of September 5, 1965, there has been a worrying decline in donations. The hospital must modernise, or become a museum, says Dr Lee Ellenbrock, a friend of Dr. Schweizer and Medical Director of the Lambarene hospital.
SYNOPSIS: Dr Albert Schweizer, theologian, philosopher, musician of world renown and medical missionary, died on September the fourth six years ago. Established as a brilliant academic and musician by the age of thirty, Dr Schweizer rejected this to devote himself to healing the sick. In 1931, with the help of the natives he built a hospital in Lambarene, in the Gabon province of French Equatorial Africa.
Dr. Schweizer worked from this room. After building the hospital on land given by the Paris Missionary Society, Dr Schweizer raised the money to keep it going from many sources - including organ recitals throughout Europe.
Since Dr. Schweizer's death money has been slow in coming. Voluntary donations have become fewer. If the hospital is to continue its work - and if children like this boy can continue with their treatment - the hospital must modernise, even more. Buildings like this children's clinic show the progress made since the old days.
The hospital - originally a few shacks, mainly for leapers, now has 96 rooms, with 175 beds.
This dental clinic has the equipment of most European clinics. But a lot of work has still to be done on the island.
The leper village - called the village of light. The hospital no longer treats lepers - these are cared for in a new government hospital not far from here. Lepers are given work here, and can live here, as Dr. Schweizer promised. But conditions are far from perfect.
Electricity cables and water pipes give previously unheard of luxuries like showers and flush toilets - but regulations like minimum wages have led to rising costs. This, with decreasing donations, could endanger Dr. Schweizer's life work. Dr. Schweizer's friend and medical Director, Lee Ellenbrock, says the hospital must modernise or become a museum piece.