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MSF in Ecuador, 2002
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New sexual and reproductive health program
The introduction of the dollar as market currency in 2000 has significantly reduced the ability of Ecuador's poorest to afford adequate health care. MSF has begun working with some of these marginalized people in the city of Guayaquil. It also brings basic care to Ecuadorian communities along the Putumayo river and to Colombians fleeing conflict in their own country.
In May 2002, MSF opened a new program focusing on sexual and reproductive health in Flor de Bastion, a slum of about 43,000 people on the outskirts of Guayaquil. The program was set up in response to needs expressed by the community, where the misery of poverty and unemployment is aggravated by high teenage pregnancy rates, juvenile and domestic violence, and the absence of community health programs or water and sanitation infrastructure. Activities, carried out through the area's three health units, include pre- and postnatal care, family planning and the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.
The primary health care project along the Putumayo river, which forms a natural border with Colombia, continues to provide health care to excluded and displaced people, for the most part in rural communities. Mobile MSF teams train local medical staff in the management and conservation of medicines and vaccines, support community pharmacies, and equip and refurbish health facilities. A primary care program supporting 45,000 people in Susufinde drew to a close at the end of 2001.
MSF has been working in Ecuador since 1995.