Statement on Armed Attack on Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais (HUM) in Haiti

Partners In Health stands with sister organization Zanmi Lasante in strongly condemning the  violent gang attack on Mirebalais University Hospital

[Mirebalais, September 26, 2023] - The Executive Leadership of Zanmi Lasante and Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais (HUM) strongly condemn the shocking attack perpetrated by a gang at HUM, at roughly 2:30 a.m. today. This brutal attack violated the moral agreement that hospitals are places of neutrality, leaving medical staff and patients deeply traumatized.

HUM is a symbol of quality health care and a place of healing for the Haitian community. It is where lives are saved, where pain is soothed, and where everyone, regardless of their circumstances, finds help in time of need. Hospitals are neutral places, refuges where everyone can find safety and care, regardless of their origins or affiliations. This attack on HUM violates the essential principles of hospital neutrality, and it has left a deep scar on hospital staff and patients alike.

Of the more than 350 patients present at the time of the attack, many were in intensive care, in critical condition. The hospital's neonatal intensive care unit— housing fragile, helpless newborns in incubators—was also targeted by gunfire, damaging several of the incubators and endangering these already vulnerable babies.

Although no deaths or injuries occurred, this attack underlines the urgent need for local authorities, law enforcement agencies, and the international community to take firm action to ensure that hospitals remain sanctuaries of care. Acts of violence against health care facilities not only disrupt the vital provision of medical care, but also cause lasting trauma to those who seek and provide care.

Zanmi Lasante and HUM remain committed to our mission of providing quality care to patients in Haiti, whatever the difficulties we face. We remain determined to continue our work, to restore the neutrality of health care facilities, and to support our community in these difficult times.
We stand in solidarity with our courageous and dedicated staff, our patients and their families, and all those affected by this attack. Together, stronger than ever, we are committed to healing, compassion, and hope.

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