Press Release
“Patches Are Put on Patches”: Dr. Wenceslao Mansogo Aló, A Fighter for Human Rights in Equatorial Guinea
Carolina Nvé Díaz San Francisco

I met Dr. Wenceslao Mansogo Aló in 2018 during the celebration "V International Seminar of the Center for Afro-Hispanic Studies (CEAH): 50 years of independence of Equatorial Guinea" convened by the UNED in Madrid. Dr. Wenceslao participated in the round tables on "Human Rights and Democracy in Equatorial Guinea" and "Health in Equatorial Guinea."

Later that same year, I had the opportunity to visit his clinic in Bata. It was under construction. I remember that he talked about his goals of moving forward and how that clinic symbolized the results of his history of migration and education outside of Equatorial Guinea and his hopeful return.

He told me about his experience as a doctor in Equatorial Guinea and the dilemmas and challenges he always faced in the health context. He remembered his dismissal from a hospital when he dared to speak out and denounce healthcare inconsistencies. He told me about the insufficiency in training based on medical and technological knowledge typical of healing spaces. He affirmed that the health system does not function through the same organization of the sector. The internal workings are poorly structured. Things are done as they see fit. Patches are put on patches.

Dr. Wenceslao was concerned about the health of the people in the country. He cared about the health of pregnant women and childbirth. He said that the cases of tuberculosis (TB) were counted, for that year 2018, as 50 new patients each month. He worried about sexually transmitted diseases and HIV infection.

He showed me a piece of paper. They were the results of HIV tests performed at his clinic a few years ago. The numbers confirmed the increase in infection, and like every year, the number of people infected after testing increased. Although there was a slight decline in 2016, Dr. Wenceslao said there was still a lot to do.

I noted his practice recommendations, including decentralizing health care, diversification of clinical centers, training for clinical centers to distribute antiretrovirals, improving education within the science faculty to treat HIV-AIDS, and performing tests and treatments before pregnancy. He spoke of the importance of medical technology, such as electrocardiograms, often scarce and poorly maintained. He suggested increasing coverage through public funds, exceptional attention to protecting safe births and deliveries, and the call to improve surgical operations, hospitalization processes, drug distribution, and laboratory maintenance. There must be a collaboration between hospitals and education. Training and follow-up cycles should be started. Health professionals must be protected. Medical management teams must take responsibility. The Ministry of Health must be reformed from its conception.

In our memory, Dr. Wenceslao Mansogo Aló.

April 28, 2022

Carolina Nvé Díaz San Francisco