To achieve that objective, they said, the administration has built the Angondje Cancer Institute in the capital, Libreville. It’s also begun restructuring public hospitals and creating university hospitals specializing in surgery, maternal and child health, orthopedics and trauma.
Infectious diseases specialist, Doctor Jean Paul Gonzalez, who is director general of the International Center for Medical Research of Franceville, (CIRMF) said the organization supports the government’s objectives of improved healthcare.
The goals of CIRMF include research, training and public health support.
Doctor Gonzalez said research done by CIRMF is helping to boost public health.
“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. “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.”
Gonzalez said CIRMF’s research findings provide critical information needed by the doctors in Gabon to handle and treat infectious diseases.
Funded mostly by the government of Gabon with some additional support from partners including USAID, CIRMF offers continued post-doctoral medical education workshops with participants from African medical faculties, and regional teaching hospitals.
“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.”
Located in Franceville, CIRMF covers 120 acres with 46 campuses the organization is split into five research units that includes emerging viral diseases, medical parasitology, retrovirology, health ecology and hemopathology. The center also has two special units that focus on medical biology and public health and the other is a primate center.
Doctor Gonzalez shares some of CIRMF’s success stories since it was established in 1974.
“We have had 800 high-level publications at the international scientific level. More than 50 doctoral students have been trained and more than 200 students did their thesis here, and then we have all these research findings in terms of therapy, follow up intervention strategy, etcetera,” said Gonzalez.