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Haiti - Health : The influx of wounded makes the needs of hospitals critical
22/04/2024 10:10:50

Haiti - Health : The influx of wounded makes the needs of hospitals critical
The sharp increase in the number of injured is putting enormous pressure on the few hospitals that still operate in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, as they are severely short of medical supplies amid a surge in gun violence. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is taking the necessary measures to respond to their urgent needs and improve the population's access to health care and humanitarian services

Some health facilities in the most affected areas are working in "tight flow" due to the increase in the number of patients, and several others have been forced to close their doors due to insecurity. There is a serious shortage of medical supplies, including medicines, essential equipment, hospital beds and blood products.

“We receive a lot of gunshot wounds. From February 29 to April 15, 2024, we received around 200 gunshot wounds. The hospital is currently saturated in terms of bed occupancy with enormous needs,” explained Dr. Paul Junior Fontilus, Executive Director of the Peace University Hospital (HUP), the only functional public hospital in Port-au -Prince.

According to Dr. Fontilus, healthcare workers are making enormous sacrifices to help save the lives of Haitians trapped in armed violence.

Some health workers cannot reach their workplaces, leaving functioning hospitals understaffed. Patients whose lives are in danger can no longer receive emergency care.

“We are witnessing an unprecedented humanitarian situation in 2024 which has worsened since the escalation of armed violence at the end of February.

Like the few operational hospitals, the Peace University Hospital relies on the support of partners to maintain its services, but obstructions to movement due to insecurity and improvised roadblocks remain major obstacles to the delivery of urgent medical supplies.

To meet some of the vast and growing needs in Port-au-Prince, the ICRC has recently provided dressing and surgical kits, hygiene and cleaning products (Sanipit and Probiotic) accompanied by personal protective equipment to health establishments including the Peace University Hospital, the Saint Camille Hospital, the Saint Luc Hospital, the Bernard Mevs Hospital, the Fontaine Hospital Center and the Siloé Medical Observation Center in Belikou.

Since January 2024, the ICRC's efforts include :
- Supplied some 27 dressing sets and 6 surgical kits to treat about 1,700 wounded patients to 6 health facilities (MSF-France hospital, Hôpital Saint Camille, Hôpital Saint Luc, Hôpital Bernard Mevs, Hôpital Universitaire la Paix and Centre d'Observation Médicale Siloé in Belikou) and to community healthcare workers who received training in first aid.
- Provided 653,000 gallons of water to 52, 800 people through water-trucking activities at 5 sites for displaced people and in 14 other areas.
- Distributed hygiene products, tarpaulins, and solar lamps to over 2000 displaced people.
- Donated 360 kgs of Probiotic and 340 liters of Sanipit to 5 Hospitals (Hôpital Universitaire la Paix, Centre Hospitalier Fontaine, Hôpital Saint Luc, Bernard Mevs, Centre Hospitalier Foyer Saint Camille) together with Personal Protective Equipment to foster hygiene in those areas and reduce infections and nosocomial disease.
- Donated 3000 gallons of diesel fuel to Hôpital Universitaire la Paix to support its functioning due to frequent power cuts.
- Donated 100 mattresses to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
- Trained 27 people from communities affected by armed violence in first aid and donated 8 first-aid bags.
- Trained 14 trainers from the National Ambulance Centre, Médecins Sans Frontières and the Haitian Red Cross ambulance service on violence de-escalation.
- Provided Personal Protective Equipment to 25 volunteers working for the Haitian Red Cross`s ambulance service.
- Supported the ambulance service of the Haitian Red Cross which has provided urgent care to 75 patients.
- Donated and installed two water tanks with a capacity of 1,700 gallons in two sites to increase storage capacity.

HL/ CICR/ HaitiLibre

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