Lens on Haiti This World Health Day

by | Apr 5, 2024 | Global Health, Haiti

The largest hospital in Haiti, State University of Haiti Hospital (HUEH) in Port-au-Prince, has been closed since Feb. 29. Armed gangs stormed government buildings, released some 4,000 prisoners and turned the capital city into a war zone. In the span of about one month, access to health care for most of the city’s 3 million residents vanished.

“I left the hospital in extreme danger as bullets flew past the buildings,” said one of the hospital’s doctors, who we’ll call Dr. Luc to protect his identity. “I had one last patient to evacuate, but it took a little longer than expected because the patient’s parents didn’t have the financial means and were undecided about which roads to take to leave the hospital area, which was already under the control of bandits.”

Stories like Dr. Luc’s tell us Haiti is in crisis, this time, it’s the worst in its history. In recent days, armed gangs have looted other hospitals and vandalized and burned most of the pharmacies in the city center. At least 18 hospitals are nonfunctional in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area, according to reports in French language daily newspaper Le Nouvelliste.

The result? People young and old in Haiti are dying. Hospitals are closed, medicine is unavailable and restocking supplies in a war zone run by gangs is nearly impossible. The situation, according to the UN, violates the human right to access quality health care and services without discrimination.

World Hope International (WHI) continues supporting Wesleyen Hospital in La Gonâve, an effort of more than 10 years. As of January, 13 community health centers in La Gonâve have benefited from medical equipment, medicine and supplies. The hospital operates an oxygen production center that can meet its own needs as well as outlying hospital centers. In fact, this island hospital has sent oxygen into Port-au-Prince, a testament to its ability to be a beacon of hope for health amid the ongoing crisis. Throughout the past difficult months, the hospital has always found ways to safely transport patients and needed materials to and from the island.

On this World Health Day, April 7, World Hope International (WHI) remains committed to expanding health care access to children and vulnerable people in crisis in Haiti and around the world.

We thank our partners and supporters who help us bring hope and well-being to the world’s most vulnerable communities.

Learn how you can support La Gonave Hospital.

David-Kensley Saintil

David-Kensley Saintil

Program Manager, Haiti

World Hope International

Together, let’s help HOPE flourish around the world.