Ecuador: El Nino affects thousands

  • National staff : 43
  • International staff : 16 MSF has been in Ecuador since January 1996, running a primary health care project in the northern canton Cotacachi, an area inhabited by native Americans. The project closed in December 1998 because the Ministry of Health refused to honour its commitment to train medical assistants. From March to September 1998 MSF's mobile teams provided basic medical assistance to the population affected by El Nino in the provinces of Guayas, Manabi and Los Rios. A total of 30,000 people benefitted from this project. MSF launched a primary health care project on 15 July 1999 in the province of Sucumbios, which borders the Colombian Putumayo region and Peru. It will run for two years. Activities include technical assistance and medical supervision, the relaunch of health centres and health posts and basic rehabilitation. MSF is working in two cantons : Putumay and Shushufindi. This project targets 200,000 people, most of whom are Ecuadorian as well as more than 50,000 displaced Colombians, many of whom live along the river bank.