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Files containing medical records stored at Gorgas Hospital, Ancon Hill. It was named after US Army Colonel William C. Gorgas, who was sent, in 1904, to the Canal Zone as Chief Sanitary Officer to fight yellow fever and malaria. In two years, yellow fever was eliminated from the Canal Zone. Soon after, malaria was also brought under control. The hospital was managed by the U.S. Army for most of the 20th Century but when the Canal Zone came under Panamanian control it became the Instituto Oncolgico Nacional (National Oncological Institute).  <br />
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The Panama Canal Zone is an area extending 8kms out, in each direction, from the waterway's central line, was a territory controlled by the United States between 1903 and 1979. After a 20 year period of joint administration, the Canal came under the full control of Panama in 1999. The Canal opened to shipping in 1914 and during its tenure was of great strategic importance to the US, enabling it to rapidly move its naval fleet between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. However, its economic value came not directly from shipping fees but from the stimulus to trade that the waterway created. One hundred years after it opened in 2014 it is due to have its locks upgraded to cater for the super sized container ships of the 21st Century.  <br />
During the era of American administration thousands of US citizens populated the Canal Zone, living and working under US law in towns built to American standards. Not all of these people returned north after the canal came under full Panamanian control many stayed on, their identities tied to the region.