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Haitian Prime Minister Visits Recaptured Hospital

Armed security officers escort Haitian Prime Minister Garry Conille as he visits the General Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, July 9, 2024.   -  
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Odelyn Joseph/Copyright 2024. AP All rights reserved


Haitian police heavily armed patrolled the vicinity of the University hospital in Port-au-Prince on Tuesday ahead of the Prime Minister's visit.

The main hospital in the Haitian capital has remained closed since gangs seized control of most of the area over five months ago.

On Sunday night, police cleared the area after a brief exchange of gunfire with a few remaining gang members.

The hospital walls and nearby buildings are filled with bullet holes, evidence of the violence and numerous shootouts that occurred in downtown Port-au-Prince, just a stone's throw away from the National Palace.

The Haitian National Police took action to reclaim the hospital and the territory encroached by gangs, following the recent deployment of a U.N.-backed group of Kenyan police to help reduce the escalating violence.

Haitian Prime Minister Gary Conille, along with the head of Haiti’s police chief, visited the hospital under tight security. Conille described the area as a "war zone."

The assaults by criminal organizations have pushed Haiti’s healthcare system to the brink of collapse.

The rising violence has resulted in an influx of patients with severe illnesses and a shortage of resources for their treatment.

Haiti’s already struggling healthcare system faces additional challenges from the rainy season, which is expected to exacerbate conditions and heighten the risk of waterborne diseases.

Numerous other hospitals and clinics in the capital have been forced to close since the surge in gang violence in February this year, making it increasingly perilous for patients and medical staff to access healthcare facilities.

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