Panama 1998

International staff: 3 National staff: 5 Aid for the Ngobe Despite continuing economic growth, the majority of Panamanians are not content with their government's policies. The health system does not receive adequate investment and many do not have access to health care. MSF works in indigenous areas that are not included in Ministry of Health statistics when overall health indicators are published and are not fully covered by public health care programmes. In March 1998, MSF concluded a project in the Soloy area, San Lorenzo district, that had been running since 1993. The project had achieved its aim of improving access to health care for 18,000 members of the Ngobe ethnic group living locally. Based in a hospital and nine health centres and health posts, a team provided technical assistance, the organisation and supervision of vaccination programmes, the organisation of epidemiological monitoring and medical referrals. Building and rehabilitation work was also carried out in these health structures.