Violent clashes between gang members took place on 23 February around a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) burn care hospital in the neighbourhood of Drouillard, Port-au -Prince, Haiti. The violence forced the staff to transfer the hospital’s 21 patients to another MSF hospital, located in the city's Tabarre neighbourhood, once calm returned.
Gunfire in the immediate vicinity of the Drouillard hospital forced patients and caregivers to seek shelter within the hospital grounds on 23 February. Our teams had already transferred outpatient services for burns patients to the Tabarre hospital 10 days earlier, on 13 February, following a first wave of violence in Drouillard on 8 and 10 February.
Only the emergency department of the Drouillard hospital remains open, with reduced capacity and limited to the reception of patients in life-threatening emergencies.
We regret having to transfer these patients, because our hospital in Tabarre is already very busy... but at this time, it's not possible to safely continue our activities in Drouillard.Dr Alain Ngamba, MSF medical coordinator in Haiti.
“The situation around our hospital in Drouillard has deteriorated, for patients and for staff,” said Aline Serin, MSF head of mission in Haiti. “Faced with the recurrence of this violence, we have decided to move patients from our burn centre and outpatient services to our trauma hospital in Tabarre, in order to ensure the protection of staff, the safety of our patients and continuity of their care.”
The MSF hospital in Drouillard is the only specialised centre in the country to focus on the treatment of severe burns.
“We regret having to transfer these patients, because our hospital in Tabarre is already very busy with patients suffering from traumatic injuries,” said Dr Alain Ngamba, MSF medical coordinator in Haiti. “But at this time, it's not possible to safely continue our burn care activities in Drouillard.”
In this context of chronic violence, we call for respect of health facilities so that patients and staff can access them.