Comilog's commitment to public health in Gabon is not new: since the 1980s, the company has been fully financing the Marcel Abéké Hospital in the town of Moanda, the historical location of the Gabonese subsidiary. Access to healthcare is free for Comilog employees and their dependents; for the local population, the hospital is moderately priced.
Today, Comilog is going further to make this care accessible to all, including the most destitute.
In Moanda, 75% of patients are unable to pay for consultations and medication at the public hospital; others simply cannot get to the hospital. As a result, many give up on seeking treatment or turn to alternative medicines, which are often insufficient or even harmful.
It is in response to this need for accessible and free care that the first Gabonese Samu social, the result of a joint effort between the Gabonese state and Samusocial International, located in France, was launched in 2017 in Libreville. Its mission: to take care of vulnerable groups such as the elderly; single women, with or without children; people in a situation of disability, physical or psychological distress; and women victims of violence. The results were immediate: hospitals were relieved of overcrowding and mortality rates were reduced. Four other Samu social were set up in the country over the next nine months.
In view of these very positive results, Comilog is launching and financing a sixth Samu social center in Moanda, which has been operational since February 2020: "We provide general and specialist medical consultations all day long at the Moanda medical-psychological center. We also deal with local health and social emergencies: our doctors, ambulance drivers, nurses and psychologists travel to patients' homes when necessary; and voluntary rounds are also organized in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods. We treat an average of one hundred people a day in Moanda - and in three years we have treated nearly 500,000 people, or 25% of the Gabonese population. It was unimaginable before! The people are truly grateful to us," explains Dr. Wenceslas Yaba, General Coordinator of the Gabonese Samu social.
The development of healthcare in Gabon is therefore part of a prevention initiative from Eramet and Comilog employees to prevent the worsening of illnesses or self-medication, a significant corporate social responsibility initiative.