Health Care, Disease Control, Crime and Safety in Gabon
Health services in Gabon are mainly given by public institutions though there are also private institutions that provide health care services. The most popular hospital in the country is the one recognized in Lambaréné by Albert Schweitzer which was established in 1913. It is being subsidized by the government. In terms of medical infrastructure, Gabon beats that of other Western African countries. There were 28 hospitals during 1985, 87 medical centers, and 312 dispensaries and infirmaries. There were approximately 29 physicians per 100,000 people as of 2004.
Most Gabonese, an estimated 90% in number have access to health care services provided by the government. Moreover, 70% of Gabonese has access to safe drinking water and when it comes to adequate sanitation, there is an estimated 21%. With the government’s comprehensive health care programs and activities, people suffering from diseases like leprosy, malaria, sleeping disorders, intestinal worms, tuberculosis, and others are provided with medical care.
In 1960 up to 2000, the total fertility rate in Gabon has decreased from 5.8 to 4.2 children per mother. The maternal mortality rate was 520 per 100,000 live births which were recorded in 1998. The infant mortality rate in 2005 was 55.35 per 1,000 live births wherein the life expectancy was 55.02 years. On the contrary, the mortality rate was approximately 17.6 per 1,000 people.
Though medical facilities remain to be limited in most rural areas of Gabon, the government is doing its part to provide Gabonese with comprehensive medical services as well.