Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

World

Conflict in Haiti exacerbates an already deteriorating health crisis 

The security situation in Port-au-Prince has had a direct impact on Haitians.

Haiti has been in turmoil for years, with armed gangs taking over parts of the country and unleashing brutal violence, leaving the economy and public health system in tatters
Haiti has been in turmoil for years, with armed gangs taking over parts of the country and unleashing brutal violence, leaving the economy and public health system in tatters - Copyright AFP/File AHMAD GHARABLI
Haiti has been in turmoil for years, with armed gangs taking over parts of the country and unleashing brutal violence, leaving the economy and public health system in tatters - Copyright AFP/File AHMAD GHARABLI

The rampant gang violence in Haiti is pushing the health system to a breaking point, according to a new expert review. As gang violence continues to grow in Port-au-Prince, Haitians are facing a declining healthcare system (starting from an already weak base). UN reports indicate there are over half a million legal and illegal weapons in the country, most in the hands of the warring gangs.

In terms of the roots of the violence, a special forces police officer turned gang kingpin – Jimmy “Barbecue” Chérizier  – is mentioned in The Guardian as suggesting that the criminal groups’ mission was to overthrow the country’s unpopular leader, Ariel Henry, and also to liberate the 11.7 million citizens from ‘anti-democratic rule’.

Other factors leading to a deterioration include escalating food insecurity, and limited access to water. In addition, the continued insecurity is forcing many Haitians to flee their homes, with over 362,000 people internally displaced since the beginning of 2024, and 731,000 displaced over the past two years furthering instability and the impact on host countries.

Commenting on this dire situation is Dr. Tamakloe, Project HOPE’s Country Director for Haiti. In a statement provided to Digital Journal, the medic says: “The security situation in Port-au-Prince has had a direct impact on Haitians and the humanitarian organizations that serve them. Gang violence has brought aid deliveries to a halt and led to government entities not functioning or functioning only intermittently.”

Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is an international global health and humanitarian aid non-governmental organization founded in the U.S. in 1958.

Tamakloe adds that the look ahead is not positive: “The violence and limited humanitarian aid will only break the already fragile health system. Project HOPE’s team in Grand Sud, Haiti has noticed a significant uptick in the migration of people fleeing the violence in Port-au-Prince. This has exponentially increased the demand for support.”

In terms of his group’s contribution to the aid effort, Tamakloe indicates: “While our team has adequate medicine and medical supplies today, we are uncertain what could happen in the coming days and weeks. If violence continues, lifesaving shipments of aid will be disrupted.” 

As part of relief efforts, Project HOPE is deploying mobile medical units in the South and Nippes departments to provide people with medical care, mental health counselling, and support for survivors of gender-based violence.

The reason for focusing on mobile means is due to the lack of health infrastructure. Hence, mobile medical units have proven to be an effective means of reaching people in rural areas. 

Project HOPE has a long history of partnering with local communities in Haiti to rebuild and enhance health services, as well as respond to emergencies and health crises brought on by disasters, disease outbreaks, and economic conditions. 

Avatar photo
Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

You may also like:

Business

A digital ID is an online representation of an individual, which contains personal information.

Entertainment

Oscar-winning songwriter and screenwriter Dean Pitchford chatted about his induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Entertainment

‘Inside Out 2’ is a rarity in animation as its child character actually ages, introducing new complicated emotions.

Tech & Science

Alex Jones is widely branded as a misinformation profiteer. - Copyright AFP Olivier DOULIERYMoises Avila with Anuj Chopra in WashingtonA US judge on Friday...