Haiti’s Healthcare Beleaguered Amid Turmoil

The UN Humanitarian Coordination Office (OCHA) has expressed concerns over the growing attacks on hospitals by armed gangs in Haiti’s capital.

An already unstable situation has been made worse by the looting of healthcare institutions as a result of these violent episodes. Due to the increasing violence in Port-au-Prince, two medical facilities were recently forced to close, while others are still closed. The only hospital in existence is La Paix University Hospital, however it struggles to meet the high demand for its services.

The Delmas 18 Hospital and Saint Martin Health Centre fell victim to looters on March 26 and 27.

The UN-administered Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) is providing essential supplies, including medicines and fuel, to sustain critical services. However, the situation remains dire, with armed groups also targeting and raiding pharmacies, severely limiting public access to medications.

The fight against HIV and tuberculosis has been affected, but local UNAIDS services are collaborating with Haiti’s Health Ministry to prioritize testing.

Deserted Healthcare in Haiti as a Result of Attacks by Armed Gangs
Deserted Healthcare in Haiti as a Result of Attacks by Armed Gangs

Amidst a political vacuum, powerful gangs in Haiti have orchestrated coordinated attacks on various targets since February, including police stations, prisons, airports, and seaports. The recent resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry underscores the gravity of the crisis. While a state of emergency persists, a transitional government has yet to be established.

In Sudan, the ongoing war has significantly hindered the World Health Organization’s (WHO) ability to access and deliver essential emergency medical supplies to conflict-affected regions. Responding to critical civilian needs, WHO country teams collaborated with neighboring South Sudan to address the crisis. Leveraging logistic expertise and available resources, emergency health kits were prepositioned along the Sudan-South Sudan border. This strategic move ensures timely and effective assistance to approximately 830,000 people in the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountain areas over the next three months.

The joint effort between WHO offices exemplifies cross-border collaboration, emphasizing their commitment to alleviating suffering in conflict zones. Notably, this shipment marks the second delivery across the border since the outbreak of brutal conflict between rival militaries nearly a year ago. WHO’s continuous relief efforts remain steadfast in supporting the Sudanese people during this challenging time.

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