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Doctors Without Borders has warned that the latest wave of violence in Port-au-Prince is beginning to strain Haiti's flimsy health services, with a rising number of gunshot victims needing intensive care.
"From April 24 to May 7, clashes between armed groups in the north of the capital have completely overwhelmed our Tabarre hospital, one of the few remaining facilities in the area," a statement from the organization warned.
According to the National Human Rights Network, clashes between gangs in the Cul de Sac plain, north of Port-au-Prince, have increased since the end of April, leaving 148 people dead. While other reports, such as those of Civil Protection or the United Nations, are more reserved and place the number of deaths between 40 and 75, although they agree that more than nine thousand people had to be displaced due to the violence.
Doctors Without Borders reported that as of May 7, they had received 96 gunshot wounded, triple the number as of mid-April, and most of them have serious wounds requiring intensive care. This comes at a time when at least five of the health centers located in the area are not operating, and two other private hospitals suspended their activities after the kidnapping of one of their doctors.
"Recurrent and widespread violence is crippling Port-au-Prince's healthcare system. Distressed medical facilities are overburdened by the needs of a large number of injured patients, with less capacity to treat other new and existing patients," Doctors Without Borders said.
At the beginning of the week, the police announced that it had regained control of the Cul-de-Sac plain, and in recent days police operations led to the release of several hostages and the arrest of members of armed groups.
However, the government admitted that the police lacked the resources to deal with the wave of violence and the proliferation of gangs and encouraged Haiti's friends to collaborate with the country's security needs.