On September 29, Stewart Tuttle, acting chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Panama, handed over three field hospitals to Panamanian health authorities to increase capabilities and combat COVID-19 in the country.
“Panama and the United States are united by strong bonds of friendship. This donation is an example of our commitment to all the Panamanian people. The advantage of these hospitals is that they can be transferred to different places, anywhere in the country. This means that, in the future, they can be installed to provide medical care in hard-to-reach areas,” the U.S. diplomat said during the handover ceremony.
Luis Sucre, Panamanian minister of Health; Enrique Lau, head of the Social Security Fund; and Carlos Rumbo, director of the National Civil Protection System, attended the event.
With this donation, the U.S. Embassy is helping to improve the Panamanian health system capabilities by providing 120 additional beds for COVID-19 patients.
The donation includes three field hospitals. Each hospital consists of five tents and is equipped with beds, sinks, a ventilation system, air conditioning, and power generators. The donation includes training on how to install, operate, and maintain these hospitals.
The handover of these medical structures complements the more than $4.6 million that the U.S. government has sent to Panama since the pandemic began, as part of its commitment to mitigate COVID-19 in the region.
In addition, this donation is part of the U.S. Office of Defense Cooperation Humanitarian Assistance Program, which carries out medical care and surgery missions, such as the visit of the hospital ship Comfort, which treated nearly 7,000 people in Panama in 2019.