Chief of Mission at U.S. Embassy Panama Stewart Tuttle, and Panamanian Minister of Health Francisco Sucre inaugurated on October 20 the El Salto Health Center in the province of Darién.
“The construction of this health center in Darién is a sign of the strong friendship between our countries. We are pleased to be able to contribute to bringing health and wellness to hard-to-reach communities, and to know that this center will allow the Ministry of Health to expand its work in Darién and the Embera-Wounaan comarca to keep the population healthy and bring prosperity to these regions of Panama,” the U.S. Embassy chief of Mission said during the inauguration.
The El Salto Health Center, built at a cost of approximately $900,000, is a donation from U.S. Southern Command’s (SOUTHCOM) Humanitarian Assistance Program to Panama’s Ministry of Health (MINSA). The El Salto Health Center includes a reception area; administrative office; general medical, nursing, and dental care rooms, pharmacy;restrooms; and a sterilization room.
In addition to the donation of this health center, the U.S. Embassy has supported other community programs in Darién this year. The Department of Defense Civil Affairs team and the U.S. Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, along with the U.S. nongovernmental organization Spirit of America, delivered more than 2,000 sports and educational equipment units and first aid kits for distribution in nine communities in Darién and the Guna Yala comarca.
Through SOUTHCOM’s Humanitarian Assistance Program, the U.S. government has delivered $3 million in humanitarian assistance to Panama since 2021, which includes the El Salto Health Center and the Quebrada de Hacha Health Center in the Ngäbe-Buglé comarca, in addition to mobile hospitals and ventilators.