Security & Strategic Review - June 2024

HAITI: Health system’s collapse latest symptom of state failure

On 22 May, the representative in Haiti of the United Nations (UN) Children’s Fund (Unicef), Bruno Maes, warned that Haiti’s health system was “on the verge of collapse”. Maes said that a lack of state control combined with “mass displacement, dangerous epidemics, and increasing malnutrition” and the “strangling of supply chains” could bring about the total collapse of the health system. He said that authorities in the capital Port-au-Prince no longer have the capacity to provide healthcare for a population that is “concurrently fighting physical trauma and the risk of disease”. The Pan-American Health Organisation (Paho) concurs. According to Paho less than half of the capital’s health facilities are operating at their normal capacity, “putting enormous pressure on local health systems”. In early May, Haiti’s health ministry (MSPP) estimated that 39% of health facilities with beds in Port-au-Prince had been closed over the preceding month due to insecurity in the capital.

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