The U.S. government delivered personal protective equipment (PPE) to Panamanian Vice Minister of Health Ivette Berrio, on July 24. The equipment, valued at $90,000, will go to the medical personnel at the San Miguel Arcángel Hospital in Panama City, as well as health dependencies in Chiriquí and Colón.
Ryan Rowlands, acting chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Panama, delivered the donation at the Panamanian Ministry of Health in response to the urgent need to protect COVID-19 frontline health care personnel.
The hospital’s director, Dr. Rafael de Gracia, expressed his gratitude for the donation. When he received the equipment, the hospital’s supplies had run out, and they could not assist patients. Thanks to the donation, they were able to continue their work.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the United States has provided Panama with more than $1.3 million in assistance, including collaboration to improve the health system’s response capabilities; medical supplies; and cleaning and protective equipment for health, security, and judicial personnel, and for communities in different parts of the country. U.S. Southern Command has provided more than $160,000 of this aid, destined mainly for protective equipment for health workers in different provinces.
“This difficult moment has further strengthened the bonds of friendship between Panama and the United States. We have supported Panama since the COVID-19 outbreak began, with more than $1 million in assistance and supplies, and we will continue to do so to help them protect the Panamanian population and restore the economy,” Rowlands said.
The donation included 35,000 masks, 6,000 medical scrubs, more than 125,000 surgical caps, and more than 175,000 gloves.