Until very recently, despite the escalating lawlessness and danger in Haiti, we at Hôpital Albert Schweitzer felt at least marginally safer and more sheltered in our rural location in the Artibonite.
Now all of that has changed.
Two nights ago an armed group descended on our town, breaking into homes and kidnapping victims at will. Within hours at least 12 people had been kidnapped.
There is no longer any police presence in our area that is able to respond.
Due to this unprecedented clear and present danger to our staff and patients, HAS has activated our Emergency Operations Plan. All non-emergency/non-essential operations have been suspended. We are now only accepting emergency patients. I want to share with you this article from today’s Miami Herald that details the dire situation we are facing.
EXCERPT FROM THE MIAMI HERALD:
“Three weeks after seven police officers were killed in a single attack on a rural police station in Haiti’s Artibonite Valley, the repercussions are still being felt. The latest casualty: the region’s main healthcare facility. Hôpital Albert Schweitzer in Deschapelles, which serves more than 700,000 people in the Artibonite Valley and Central Plateau regions, has suspended operations and implemented an emergency plan where it only accepts life-saving emergency cases.”
Read more in the Miami Herald here.
Once again, our heroic staff have stepped up to the challenge. Much of our staff has been forced to flee and a core group of heroes have remained on duty at our main hospital building where they are busy caring for the patients in our hospital and accepting only the most critical cases. The 140 or so patients in our hospital have no place else to go and many simply cannot be discharged. We have equipped our Medical Library with cots and it now serves as sleeping quarters for our medical staff who cannot return to their homes.
Thank you for your concern and support in this time of dire need. Please consider helping our immediate efforts with a donation today.
Jean Marc de Matteis