Health at risk in Haiti as crisis and violence worsen
The past year has seen a rise in large-scale and sometimes violent demonstrations in Haiti, coupled with a sharp rise in gun violence. In the first three months of 2019, MSF treated 237 patients for gunshot wounds at its emergency centre in Port-au-Prince’s Martissant slum – roughly twice as many as in the same period last year. Since 9 June, tensions have escalated. In just two weeks – from 9 to 25 June – 49 patients with gunshot wounds arrived at MSF’s Martissant Centre, nine of whom had life-threatening injuries.
The increasingly violent environment is affecting the work of MSF’s teams – victims of several security incidents – as well as the public health system as a whole. Poorly financed, staffed and equipped, Haiti’s public health facilities cannot cope with the current influx of patients, while security issues are restricting the movements of medical workers and the transport of equipment, blood and medicines. MSF is doing all it can to respond to the current and growing health needs in Haiti, as people struggle to deal with social tensions, violence and limited access to medical care.
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