Haiti: After the killing of a patient, MSF is forced to suspend activities at Raoul Pierre Louis Hospital

MSF teams continue to provide care in multiple locations as violence in Port-au-Prince continues

White flag with red logo of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) against sunny blue sky

© Valérie Batselaere/MSF

PORT-AU-PRINCE/NEW YORK, January 27, 2023—On Thursday, January 26, three armed men entered the Raoul Pierre Louis hospital in the Carrefour neighborhood on the west of Port-au-Prince, seized a patient with a gunshot wound in the emergency room and coldly executed him outside.

Due to this horrific killing, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is suspending its activities in the hospital, which MSF staff have supported since 2021. Yesterday's incident follows the killing of another patient in the hospital in August 2022.

"This is the second time that a similar incident has occurred in this same hospital," said Benoît Vasseur, MSF head of mission in Haiti. "We are appalled by this killing that flouts humanitarian principles as well as the protection that every patient should enjoy inside any health facility. Faced with this unacceptable act of violence, we have no choice but to temporarily suspend our activities at Raoul Pierre Louis Hospital, as long as we are unable to guarantee the safety of our staff and patients."

MSF has worked in Haiti for more than 30 years, providing care on the basis of medical needs. MSF urges all armed individuals and groups to respect its medical work, including patients, staff, medical facilities and ambulances.

This killing occurred on a day marked by demonstrations and riots in several areas of the capital and its surroundings. MSF's emergency center in Turgeau received six people with gunshot wounds in just a few hours, including a high school student who was dead on arrival. In this context, it is more important than ever to respect the need for safe access to emergency care.

MSF teams continue providing medical care in multiple areas of Port-au-Prince and other parts of the country. MSF's services include treatment for patients with medical emergencies, hospital and outpatient care for patients with traumatic injuries or severe burns, sexual and reproductive health care, mobile clinics, and treatment for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.