Ecuador: Basic care in turbulent border area

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With the aim of improving access to health care for the area's excluded and displaced people, MSF runs a primary health care program in Sucumbios province in Ecuador and the Putumayo department in Colombia. MSF makes a circuit of several hundred kilometers to assist 43 communities scattered along the Putumayo River and the surrounding area, on both sides of the border. Activities include training local medical staff in management, maintenance, and control of the cold chain, supporting the creation of community pharmacies, rehabilitating and equipping health structures, and helping the provincial health authorities manage epidemiological data. In the area around Lago Agrio, in Sucumbios, in February 2001 MSF offered basic care and drinkable water to 2,700 people who had fled Colombia's Putumayo department. In the first half of 2001, an exploratory mission was carried out in the slums of the southwestern city of Guayaquil to evaluate needs and the potential for an MSF intervention. MSF has been working in Ecuador since 1995. International staff: 6 National staff: 9