Having completed a three-month intervention on the Oaxaca coast after it was struck by Hurricane Pauline in October 1997, MSF opened an office in Oaxaca in October 1998, with a view to starting a primary health care project. A project was launched in March 1999 in the Mixteca region of Oaxaca. The team will provide primary health care to the indigenous population, who had almost no access health care when MSF arrived. The project is aimed at some 17,000 people living in 60 dispersed communities. The team's main focus is to restore a primary health-care system which can function independently. In the first few months of 1999, MSF trained six doctors, six health promoters and 10 nurses to run the project. The project will be handed over to the health ministry after two years.