A series of disasters and outbreaks, political and economic crises, and attention and investment from donors having gone elsewhere, have led to severe shortages of medical supplies and staff.
We continue to respond to urgent needs wherever possible. In Port-au-Prince, the capital, MSF teams treat trauma and burns victims, with many injuries the result of tensions and protests.
MSF teams also treat victims of sexual and gender-based violence in Port-au-Prince and support maternity services in Port-à-Piment, in the country’s south.
Between May and August 2020, we also responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by providing treatment in COVID-19 units, including one temporarily converted from our burns hospital in Drouillard, a neighbourhood of Port-au-Prince.
Our activities in 2020 in Haiti
Data and information from the International Activity Report 2020.
People in Haiti continue to face multiple barriers to healthcare amid an ongoing political and economic crisis. Violence is rife, particularly in the capital, Port-au-Prince, where gangs fight for territory and influence. In 2020, there were repeated strikes and staffing shortages in public health facilities due to attacks on health workers, non-payment of wages and the risks of COVID-19.
Our emergency centre in the impoverished Martissant neighbourhood treats and stabilises patients with urgent needs, including severe asthma attacks, childhood medical emergencies, and injuries from violence and accidental trauma. In our trauma hospital in Tabarre, we offer emergency care, surgery, physiotherapy and psychosocial care for trauma patients with life-threatening injuries, such as open bone fractures or bullet wounds to the chest or abdomen. We also supported the adult and paediatric emergency rooms at the Haiti State University Hospital by donating medical supplies, rehabilitating facilities and training staff.
In May, we repurposed our specialist burns hospital in the capital to treat patients with COVID-19, until August, when we returned to treating patients with complex burn injuries. Drouillard hospital is the only facility of its kind in Haiti, and receives many referrals from areas where precarious living conditions increase the risk of domestic accidents, such as burns from stoves. In August, we also supported a local maternity centre to reopen safely by screening patients for COVID-19, and providing training and personal protective equipment.
We continue to run our clinic for victims of sexual and gender-based violence in the capital’s Delmas 33 neighbourhood, and in February opened a second one in Gonaïves, northern Haiti. In both, we train public hospital staff and work with local organisations to raise awareness of sexual violence and adolescent sexual health issues. To help victims reach medical services, we set up a confidential telephone hotline.
In the rural southwest, we support sexual and reproductive health services in health centres in Port-à-Piment and the surrounding area. We are gradually increasing our support for comprehensive emergency obstetric and neonatal care in Port Salut.