Haiti Reclaims Hospital from Armed Gangs

Haiti Reclaims Hospital from Armed Gangs
Haiti Reclaims Hospital from Armed Gangs

Haiti’s newly selected Prime Minister Garry Conille and Haiti’s police chief visited the country's largest hospital, after authorities said they took control of the medical institution over the weekend from armed gangs.

The green and white-colored hospital was left ravaged by gangs, with beds stripped of their cots and ceiling fans on the floor. The building’s interior was left with debris and lighting fixtures among the hospital’s cubicles.

Hospital walls and nearby buildings were riddled with bullet holes, signaling fights between police and gangs in the neighborhood. The hospital is just across the street from the national palace, which was the scene of several battles in the last five months.

“It's the most vulnerable people who come to this hospital for treatment, it's public property, it belongs to all Haitians, it's really important for us to regain control of our hospital.”

Haiti's Prime Minister, Garry Conille, saying|: “It’s really important for us to regain control of our hospital. In every country in the world, hospitals are not war zones, they're not conflict zones, and they're not confrontation zones either. They're places where people who are ill come to get treatment for their health. People who are already in a vulnerable situation have come to be treated. It should not be a war zone and we will not accept that.”

The attacks from criminal groups have pushed Haiti’s health system to the brink of collapse and the escalating violence has led to a surge in patients with serious illnesses and a shortage of resources to treat them.

Gangs have been looting, setting fires, and destroying medical institutions and pharmacies in the capital, where they control up to 80% of the area.

Poor hygiene conditions in camps and makeshift settlements have heightened the risk of diseases like cholera, with over 84,000 suspected cases in the country, according to a UNICEF report.