Medecins Sans Frontieres shuts Haiti hospital over gang violence
Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has quickly closed its hospital in Cite Soleil, in Haiti’s capital, after gang violence threatened the protection of sufferers and employees, a spokesperson for the group advised Reuters Wednesday.
This comes amid escalating violence from closely armed gangs who final week expanded their territory to cowl new areas each within the capital Port-au-Prince and close by cities, forcing a number of faculties to close their gates as kidnappings additionally enhance.
Subject communication supervisor Alexandre Marcou stated the closure leaves Cite Soleil, an impoverished neighbourhood on the outskirts of the capital, with only one privately run hospital and one other MSF operation which is decreasing operations.
“We live scenes of warfare simply metres (yards) from the institution,” Vincent Harris, an MSF medical advisor, stated in a press release.
“Our hospital has not been straight focused however we have now been a collateral sufferer of the combating because the hospital discovered itself on the frontline.”
Marcou stated a toddler who was on oxygen had died in a safety room, the place sufferers are despatched for defense from gunfire across the constructing. A 70-year-old man had additionally been discovered shot throughout type the hospital as he tried to cross the road.
“Due to the territorial conflicts, one of many teams determined crossing was forbidden, so the response was a bullet,” he stated.
Earlier this yr, an MSF-backed public hospital simply south of the capital additionally closed its doorways after a affected person was killed by a bullet as he left the emergency room.
Round Port-au-Prince, MSF continues to function a middle for trauma and bullet wounds and survivors of sexual violence, which a United Nations report stated gangs had been utilizing en masse to instill worry.
It additionally operates cell clinics, emergency facilities for severe accidents, clinics for pregnant girls and infants, and cholera therapy facilities, although Marcou stated the outbreak, which started in October, was seeing a decline.
“We’re not leaving Haiti,” stated Marcou, stressing the closure was non permanent and MSF deliberate to extend its work if wanted, though it couldn’t preserve operations open if employees and sufferers should not protected.