Hospitals that rely on fuel-powered generators for electricity in Haiti’s capital have warned they could be forced to close, as a gang blockade on the main fuel terminal in Port-au-Prince worsens insecurity in the Caribbean nation.
Port-au-Prince gangs earlier this month dug trenches and littered shipping containers at entrances to the Varreux terminal to protest a government announcement that it planned to cut fuel subsidies due to their high cost.
Three-quarters of the major hospitals in Haiti are affected by the lack of fuel, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said in a statement on Monday, citing data collected by the World Health Organization.
“Some hospitals are unable to admit new patients and are preparing to close. Providing sterile conditions for medical interventions is becoming more challenging and conserving vaccines due to the disruption to cold-chain facilities has become problematic,” UNICEF said.
It added that approximately 22,100 children under age five, as well as more than 28,000 newborns, were at risk of not receiving “essential health care services” over the next four months.
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