Fuel and water shortages threaten medical care in Haiti

PORT AU PRINCE – As tensions and armed conflicts escalate in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, shortages of fuel, public transport and clean water endanger medical facilities and patients, including those managed by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). MSF calls for urgent deliveries of fuel to medical facilities in the city.

As we continuously reduce our energy consumption through emergency measures, our trauma and burns hospital in Tabarre, a neighborhood in Port-au-Prince, was forced to cut back on its medical activities last week, only treating patients with life-threatening conditions. Both the Tabarre hospital and our Turgeau emergency center will run out of fuel for the hospital’s generators in three weeks, unless new supplies are delivered. The MSF emergency center in Cité Soleil will be exhausted in two and a half weeks.

“The medical establishments in Port-au-Prince face the same challenges: no fuel, no electricity, no medical care,” explains Jean-Gilbert Ndong, MSF medical coordinator. “We all need to have regular fuel deliveries. “

At Tabarre hospital, MSF is installing solar panels to further reduce the demand on generators. Lack of fuel also prevents many staff from obtaining transportation to the hospital for their shifts. With limited means of transport, teams are constantly adapting so that basic medical personnel can reach medical facilities and then return home.