A spokesman for the Schweitzer Hospital International Association has said that the famed hospital at Lambarene in Gabon would have to close at the end of the year unless the Gabonese authorities gave it immediate cash aid.
CU Dr. Schweitzer seated (2 shots)
MV Schweitzer in hospital (2 shots)
CU Schweitzer in hospital grounds
MV EXTERIOR Dr. Schweitzer's room
CU Room number
GV INTERIOR Dr. Schweitzer's room
CU Dr.'s sun helmet
CU PAN Bookcase
CU Calendar shows date '4th Sept.'
MV Dr.'s desk
CU Dr.'s papers and spectacles
MV African child in wheel chair
GV EXTERIOR Children's clinic
CU Sign 'Children's Clinic
MV People outside clinic
GV Hospital (2 shots)
CU Boy out of dental clinic
BCU ZOOM OUT Spider in tree TO GV Hospital
GV Leper village
GV EXTERIOR Houses
CU Leper making stone masks (2 shots)
GV EXTERIOR Old building
GV Power cable through buildings and trees
CU Water main pipe on ground
GV Semi-derelict building
ZOOM IN FROM MV Reporter talking to Lee Ellenbrock, friend of Dr. Schweitzer
GV River and island
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Background: A spokesman for the Schweitzer Hospital International Association has said that the famed hospital at Lambarene in Gabon would have to close at the end of the year unless the Gabonese authorities gave it immediate cash aid.
Charles Michel, Secretary of the association which managed the hospital until last year, said its last hope lay with Gabon President Bongo and his government.
He said the 40-member international association only learned of the grave situation facing the hospital at its General Assembly in Paris this month.
The end of the year close-down threat was reported by the hospital's chief, Doctor Holm Habicht, and administration chief, Max Caulet.
They told the association that they had written to President Bongo asking for aid to keep the old hospital going and to build an already-planned new one.
The hospital's financial crisis comes one year after its management was taken over by a Gabon-based board whose five members include Dr. Habicht and Mr. Caulet.
The takeover followed a Gabon government ruling that organisations operating in the country should have their managing authority locally based with Gabonese nationals serving on it.
The crisis facing Dr. Schweitzer's life work which dates back to 1913 follows big increases in food and salary costs in the past two years.
Mr. Caulet made a fund-raising tour of Europe and America during the summer but this did not bring in sufficient cash to stave off the problems.
It is expected that the Lambarene leper colony hosing more that 100 invalids would remain open no matter what happens to the hospital.
The colony was built by Dr. Schweitzer in 1013. The more-famous hospital followed 13 years later on an adjoining site.
SYNOPSIS: Last January saw the centenary of the birth of Dr. Albert Schweitzer, the controversial humanitarian who renounced a brilliant academic career and worldly success to fight disease and misery in Africa. It was in 1913 when he was 38 that he started his new life's work. He had just arrived in what was then the French colony of Gabon.
Dr. Schweitzer worked from this room in a hospital he built in Lambarene on land donated by the Paris Missionary Society. He raised money to keep it going from many sources including organ recitals he gave throughout Europe.
Since Dr. Schweitzer's death, money has been slow in coming. The latest financial crisis to hit the hospital was announced in Paris by members of the Schweitzer Hospital International Association. They said the famed hospital would have to close at the end of the year unless the Gabonese authorities gave it immediate cash aid. The crisis follows big increases in food and salary costs in the past two years.