Violence In Haiti Affects Access To Hospitals

The international organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF) warned this Friday that insecurity in Haiti has once again become a “serious obstacle” for the population to have access to the health services they offer. Mumuza Muhindo, MSF head of mission in the country, explained that the latest clashes in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince are taking place near the trauma hospital they run in Tabarre.

These clashes between the gangs have caused hundreds of people to abandon their residences between April 24 and 27 in the Butte Boyer, Croix-des-Missions, Marecage and Mapou neighborhoods, according to Civil Protection. At least 20 civilians were killed, including a family of eight, three young women and three children.

“We are very concerned because our 70-bed hospital in Tabarre, specialized in trauma and burn care, is almost full and insecurity is once again a serious obstacle to accessing care. Ambulances can no longer access certain neighborhoods to help the injured, which means they will have to wait several days before being treated,” Muhindo said.

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He also explained that patients who need treatment cannot reach health facilities because the roads are blocked. “Since Sunday we have noticed a decrease in the number of patients in the outpatient clinic of the Tabarre hospital,” he reported.

On Sunday, April 24, starting at 03:00, heavy clashes between the 400 Mawozo and Chen Mechan gangs triggered panic within the population and led to the eviction of people, including families with children.

“Some of the MSF staff are also trapped by the violence in different parts of the city and cannot go to work. No one dares to venture onto the roads anymore. Now there are blockades along the main roads, where there are hardly any vehicles, only stray dogs remain,” said Mumuza Muhindo.

“MSF stands by to support the people of Port-au-Prince and continues to provide medical care as needed. As in all armed conflicts, we emphasize that civilians must be protected and that everyone must have access to medical care,” she emphasized.

The site of the confrontation is just a few hundred meters north of the international airport; Therefore, there is a risk that new displacements of people and that humanitarian access to the north of the country will be reduced, warned the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA, in English).

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OCHA reported on the establishment of a coordination committee under the leadership of the Haitian Civil Protection with the participation of UN agencies and partner NGOs. The main humanitarian needs identified are food, emergency medical care, shelter and protection. Local authorities distributed hot meals to displaced people.

The International Organization for Migration has established a hotline to provide immediate psychosocial assistance and referral to appropriate institutions.

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