Gang violence takes toll on Haiti health facilities

A section of the armed gang members patrol streets in Haiti's Capital. [Courtesy]

Health facilities in Port-au-Prince metropolitan areas continue to be impacted by the ongoing violence, further restricting access to life-saving care for people in and around the Haitian capital, said UN humanitarians on Wednesday.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that armed groups  last week looted two healthcare facilities Delmas 18 Hospital and the Saint Martin Health Center.

While La Paix University Hospital remains open and the World Health Organization continues to support it by providing medicine, medical supplies and fuel, La Paix faces significant strain amid increased workloads for staff following the closing of Port-au-Prince State Hospital, said the office.

OCHA also reports the looting last week of 10 pharmacies in the capital, making it even more difficult for people to get their medication.

Despite the difficulties, UN response efforts continued. The World Food Programme on Tuesday distributed hot meals to more than 27,000 people in Port-au-Prince, said OCHA.

Last week, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Pan American Health Organization and local partners carried out nearly 600 medical consultations in displacement sites through their mobile clinics. UNICEF, the International Organization for Migration, and partners distributed nearly 300,000 liters of drinking water from March 23 through April 1. Partners have also delivered hygiene kits in displacement sites, said OCHA.

By March 31, more than 362,000 people were displaced in Haiti, and 160,000 of them were in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area, according to OCHA figures.