UNICEF Worries About Haitian Health System Collapse

UNICEF Worries About Haitian Health System Collapse
Fecha de publicación: 
23 May 2024
Imagen principal: 

Haiti’s health system is now "on the verge of collapse," warned the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) representative in Haiti Bruno Maes on Wednesday, in the midst of an alarming decline in the number of hospitals still operating in the violent Caribbean nation.


Haiti: Kenyan Delegation Assesses Future Troop Base

According to the organization, only six out of ten hospitals still have some operational capability while gang-led chaos continues throughout the capital, Port-au-Prince, leaving vulnerable children deprived of essential care.

Maes said the increase in violence along with "mass displacement, dangerous epidemics and growing malnutrition" have pushed the country’s health system to the limit and the "strangulation of supply chains" can break it completely.

"The escalation of violence in Port-au-Prince and Artibonite is plunging Haiti into a humanitarian disaster. Not only are the children trapped, but also critical supplies intended to cure and feed them," Maes told UN News.

However, hundreds of containers containing humanitarian aid, including basic necessities for newborns, mothers and doctors, remain stranded in Port-au-Prince.

The country’s capital usually receives and releases all imported health supplies, but with rampant violence and more than 160,000 displaced civilians, Port-au-Prince can no longer serve a population that "simultaneously combat physical trauma and disease risk".

UNICEF reported that many of the displaced families, especially those in the south of the country, are seeking safety and protection, increasing pressure on local health services. The agency reported that around 40 percent of staff had to leave the country due to high levels of insecurity.

Nearly 4.4 million people in Haiti are in desperate need of food assistance, and 1.6 million civilians face acute food insecurity that increases the risk of wasting and child malnutrition.

"We cannot allow life-saving supplies of children to remain blocked in warehouses and containers. They must surrender now," Maes said.

UNICEF is also "getting vital and ready-to-use therapeutic food right here in Haiti".

He said these supplies will be sent to 600 health centers throughout Haiti, as well as to several other mobile clinics in areas with limited access.

"When supplies reach children, children have the opportunity to lead a healthy life... children can go to school. They can play, they can just be kids," said Mr. Maes.

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.