Mortality, violence and access to care in two districts of Port-au-Prince, HaitiReport as inadecuate

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Conflict and Health

, 3:4

First Online: 24 March 2009Received: 06 March 2009Accepted: 24 March 2009DOI: 10.1186-1752-1505-3-4

Cite this article as: Ponsar, F., Ford, N., Van Herp, M. et al. Confl Health 2009 3: 4. doi:10.1186-1752-1505-3-4


BackgroundTowards the end of 2006 open conflict broke out between United Nations forces and armed militia in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Fighting was most intense in the district of Cité Soleil.

MethodsA cross-sectional, random-sample survey among the conflict-affected populations living in Cité Soleil and Martissant was carried out over a 4-week period in 2006 using a semi-structured questionnaire to assess exposure to violence and access to health care. Household heads from 945 households corresponding to 4,763 people in Cité Soleil and 1,800 household 9,539 people in Martissant provided information on household members. The average recall period was 579 days for Cité Soleil and 601 days for Martissant.

ResultsIn Cité Soleil 120 deaths 21 children were reported CMR 0.4 deaths-10,000 people-day; <5 MR 0.5 deaths-10,000-day while in Martissant 165 deaths 8 children were reported CMR 0.3-10,000 people-day; <5 MR 0.2-10,000 people-day. Violence was reported as the main cause of adult mortality in both locations mainly gunshot wounds accounting for 29.2% of deaths in Cité Soleil and 23% of deaths in Martissant. 22.9% of families in Cité Soleil and 18.6% in Martissant reported at least one victim of violence. Destruction of property and belongings was common in both Cité Soleil 52.4% of families and Martissant 14.9%. Access to health services was limited, with 11% 22-196 of victims of violence in Cité Soleil and 23% 49-212 in Martissant unable to access care due to insecurity or lack of money.

DiscussionExtrapolating to the total population of these two districts some 2,000 violent deaths occurred over the recall period. Among the survivors, violence had lasting effects in terms of physical and mental health and loss of property and possessions.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1752-1505-3-4 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Frédérique Ponsar - Nathan Ford - Michel Van Herp - Silvia Mancini - Catherine Bachy


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