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Haiti: 31 health institutions closed due to insecurity

  • May 7, 2024
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The management of the health services organization of the Ministry of Public Health and Population (DOSS/MSPP) revealed in April that more than 30 health institutions had to close their doors due to insecurity in Haiti.

In the latest issue of the medical journal “Info Gazette Médicale”, a special edition (number 38, volume 3) published in April looks at the impact of insecurity on health institutions across the country, with particular emphasis in the West department. Several articles dealing with this theme are written by directors of health institutions, front-line health professionals and medical students.

In fact, there are, according to the Western Health Directorate (DSO): Thirty-one (31) healthcare infrastructures (private and public) closed due to looting and/or fires. Around a hundred functional structures, spread across the metropolitan area of ​​Port-au-Prince and the communes of Gonâve, Arcahaie, Cornillon, Croix-des-Bouquets, Fermathe, Léogâne and Petit-Goâve , operate slowly due to problems with the supply of inputs, energy supply, forced absenteeism of human resources (HR) and insecurity preventing patients from arriving at service delivery points.

“The majority of functional healthcare institutions are forced to limit their service offering to emergencies, traumatic and non-traumatic and to assistance with childbirth. This is the case of the Peace University Hospital (HUP) which, thanks to the support of PAHO/WHO, provides emergency services in the four (4) basic disciplines,” we can read in the ‘article.

However, Dr. Yvrose, director of the organization of health services at the Ministry of Public Health and Population (DOSS/MSPP), cited by Le Nouvelliste, stressed that this list is subject to change. “Meanwhile, 3 other institutions are in an irregular situation bringing the list to around 34 health institutions,” she said.

Furthermore, in this article, the DOSS/MSPP recalls the devastating impact of looting and fires on several pharmacies and distribution centers for pharmaceutical products. These incidents led to their closure and made the availability of medicines uncertain. The disruption in the supply chain, caused by the closure of distribution centers and road blockages, has led to serious shortages of medicines. Additionally, insecurity has forced many health providers to abandon their posts to avoid violence perpetrated by criminal gangs.

The Director of Health Service Organizations (DOSS) highlighted the importance of three institutions in improving health services to fill existing gaps. These institutions, two public and one private, are the Mirebalais University Hospital, the Nos Petits Frères et Sœurs Hospital (Saint Damiens) as well as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Tabarre.

Particular focus was placed on the achievements of the Peace University Hospital, which recorded between March 4 and April 15, 2024, 152 admissions to internal medicine, 1,210 cases in maternity and carried out 320 surgical interventions taking into account its capacity of around 210 beds.

Regarding the future, the DOSS calls on political actors to find consensual solutions to the great ills that afflict the country, Or the health of the Haitian population seems irremediably compromised. In the absence of a systemic solution to the GREAT EVILS, which are paralyzing the country, certain possible solutions seem likely to avoid the worst by finding a rapid, if not immediate, solution to the serious humanitarian crisis which threatens the lives of millions of people

Concerning the impact of the crisis on morbidity and mortality, the DOSS writes “We unfortunately do not have specific statistics on the effects and impact of this situation on the morbidity and mortality profiles in the country. We can assume, however, that with the reduction in the overall supply of services caused by the forced closure of around thirty hospitals (including the two largest hospitals in the Metropolitan Area (HUEH and Saint François de Sales) and the slow operation of a hundred other institutions, the effects and impact on morbidity and mortality in the country in general, and in the Metropolitan Area of ​​Port-au-Prince in particular, are most negative”.

Below is the list of closed hospitals in Haiti

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Ravensley Boisrond