In Puerto Rico, as in much of the world, COVID-19 is compounding the risks facing vulnerable groups. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams here worked with community-based organizations and local health providers to offer medical aid to those who need help the most. Our services included home-based primary care as well as monitoring for COVID-positive patients. Over four months, we provided medical consultations to more than 1,200 patients, mostly older adults suffering from chronic conditions that can make them even more vulnerable to COVID-19.
At the end of September, MSF handed over medical activities to Puerto Rico Salud (PRS), a local organization formed by four members of our team seeking to carry on this vital work. Rolando Betancourt, who worked with MSF as a nurse and is a cofounder of the new organization, said he was personally moved to see how many people were struggling to survive without access to basic health services. “We set out to find a way to be able to continue the same work, with the same quality standards,” he said, “to reach the people who need it for a long time to come.”