Victims Of Haiti's Gangs Face Health System In Crisis

Victims of Haiti's gangs face health system in crisis

PortauPrince, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 25th Jun, 2024) Suffering from gunshot wounds to the leg and buttocks, 31-year-old Olivier Vilminio sought treatment in a hospital in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince.

But even there, he was not safe from a surge of gang violence that has upended life in the impoverished Caribbean nation and made medical care even more difficult to attain.

Armed gang members raided the hospital, forcing Vilminio to flee, he told AFP recently from a school where he and other displaced people now reside.

Needing crutches to walk, the father of two young daughters said his wounds have left him in constant pain.

"I've run out of medication. The painkiller I should be taking is (the powerful opioid) tramadol, and it's extremely expensive, 750 Haitian gourdes a pack," he said, or around $6.

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He said he hoped to possibly get antibiotics from Alima, an NGO operating mobile medical units that was visiting the school-turned-refuge that morning.

After years of gaining ground across Haiti's capital, gangs launched a wave of coordinated attacks in late February calling for then prime minister Ariel Henry to resign.

He announced in early March that he would step down and hand executive power to a transitional council responsible for leading the country toward elections. No vote has been held in Haiti since 2016.

A new prime minister and cabinet have since taken office, but their task of restoring order in the nation of 10 million is monumental.