Ecuador Earthquake

MSF closed the last of our projects in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in October 2020.

MSF has worked in Ecuador following two earthquakes 2016, and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the earthquakes which struck the country on 16 April and 18 May, our teams focused their efforts on providing mental health support and distributing relief items.

In 2020, in response to COVID-19, teams provided training on infection prevention and control, and palliative care. We also provided mental health support and worked in nursing homes in Guayas and Esmeraldas provinces.

Our activities in 2020 in Ecuador

Data and information from the International Activity Report 2020.

MSF in Ecuador in 2020 Ecuador was one of the first South American countries to be hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting MSF to return there for the first time since 2016.
Map of MSF activities in 2020 in Ecuador

The biggest city, Guayaquil, was overwhelmed as cases rapidly surged. The authorities tried their best to respond, but were taken by surprise at the scale, speed and deadliness of the virus. By late March, the authorities were unable to cope with the number of deaths and bodies were left uncollected in the streets for several weeks.

MSF was not working in Ecuador but moved fast in April to bring in a team that had gained COVID-19 experience in Europe to support the Ministry of Health. Initially, the team assisted in health centres and nursing homes, with a focus on infection prevention and control. A health promotion programme was targeted specifically at more vulnerable communities to provide clear guidance about how to stay safe and keep others safe.

As the numbers came under control in Guayaquil, the situation started to become more critical in Las Esmeraldas region and in the capital, Quito. With resources stretched worldwide, the team could not bring in additional support and had to decide where we could be of most assistance. As the case numbers were rising more steeply in Quito,we decided to help the city authorities with COVID-19 testing, and conduct training for staff in both fixed health posts and mobile teams responding in urban and rural areas.

We also trained staff working in nursing homes and shelters for homeless people in the capital, drawing on the experience we had gained in Europe and Brazil.

In addition, the team supported a dedicated COVID-19 treatment centre set up by the authorities with donations of medical supplies and technical training to strengthen clinical care. We also helped to adapt part of the centre for palliative care.


In 2020
Ecuador Earthquake: MSF Response Teams

One month after earthquake, MSF finishes its activities

Project Update 27 May 2016
Ecuador Earthquake: MSF Response Teams

Mental health after the earthquake

Voices from the Field 19 May 2016
Ecuador Earthquake: MSF Response Teams

Testimonies from people living in shelters

Voices from the Field 2 May 2016
Ecuador Earthquake: MSF Response Teams

We want to restore people’s normal daily activities

Project Update 2 May 2016
Mariana Daisa Esmeralda Castillo

Earthquake in Ecuador: I’m so scared to go back home

Voices from the Field 27 Apr 2016
Ecuador Earthquake: MSF Response Teams

The population is fearful and nervous

Project Update 27 Apr 2016