Haiti – Insecurity : MSF forced to temporarily close its Emergency Center in Martissant
On Saturday afternoon, June 26, the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) emergency center in Martissant was the target of several bursts of automatic weapons as MSF teams provided care for patients.
Fortunately, there are no deaths or injuries among the staff and patients of the Emergency Center, however the Humanitarian Medical Organization believes that it can no longer continue to treat the population without endangering its staff.
“As a result, MSF has decided to evacuate its staff and patients from the Emergency Center and to immediately suspend its activities in Martissant for one week period after which we want to find our Emergency Center intact,” said Alessandra Giudiceandrea, MSF Head of Mission in Haiti, adding “Saturday’s attack is an unprecedented event. However, the security of the teams has been strained for several weeks,” recalling “[…] from the start of the clashes between the armed groups in the area, at the end of May, MSF had to reduce its activities and its resources in Martissant because armed clashes were taking place near the Emergency Center and during these episodes, medical staff had to protect themselves from stray bullets. At the beginning of June, armed individuals held up two MSF ambulance drivers […]”
“At a time when we should be able to expand our activities due to Covid-19 and other needs, we are fighting to keep our structures open despite deplorable security conditions,” deplores the Head of Mission.
Remember that MSF has been providing medical care in Haiti for 30 years and the Martissant Emergency Center, opened in 2006, is to date the oldest MSF project in Haiti. However, in order to continue its activities, MSF must be able to ensure the safety of patients and medical staff when traveling and within health structures. MSF calls on armed individuals in Haiti to respect the safety of health personnel, patients, equipment and medical structures; vehicles and ambulances must also be able to circulate in complete safety.
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