close 'Loaded with patients': An inside look at one of the few open medical clinics in Port-au-Prince Video

‘Loaded with patients’: An inside look at one of the few open medical clinics in Port-au-Prince

Partners In Development Haiti Field Director Raymond Niquelson speaks with Fox News Digital about the non-profit’s medical clinic in Port-au-Prince.

Partners In Development (PID), a nonprofit organization based in Ipswich, Mass., runs one of the few remaining medical clinics in Haiti’s capital city of Port-au-Prince amid ongoing unrest in the country.

Tali Marcelin, the president of PID, told Fox News Digital that their clinic has seen an uptick in patients throughout the past few weeks due to several healthcare facilities closing and other nonprofits pulling out of the area. 

Fighting has broken out in Haiti’s capital since late February as gangs have battled police for control of Port-au-Prince. Earlier last month, armed gangs attacked Haiti’s National Penitentiary, releasing nearly 4,000 inmates, and the Croix-des-Bouquets Civil prison, releasing an additional 1,000 plus inmates.


haiti's national penitentiary

The National Penitentiary in downtown Port-au-Prince. The gray building inside the prison is called Titanic and is where the most criminal prisoners are kept. ((Photo by Niels Salomonsen/Edit by Getty Images))

The United Nations estimated last year that 80% of Port-au-Prince is under the control or influence of gangs. Last week, armed groups looted the Delmas 18 Hospital and the Saint Martin Health Center, as well as 10 pharmacies near Haiti’s largest public hospital, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

One of the biggest issues PID faces amid the ongoing conflict in the area is keeping the clinic stocked, due to skyrocketing prices for supplies.

Marcelin said they had teams of other people who would travel with them to Haiti, bringing thousands of pounds of medicine, but they aren’t currently able to bring the teams or donated medical supplies, forcing them to buy in-country.

“We’ve run into probably the biggest, not problem, but struggle that we’ve hit now is keeping our lab tests, our supplies and our medicine in the pharmacy just stocked,” she said. “The services are free. The people really need them. There’s not really anywhere else that they can turn to, and not a lot of options of where they can turn to.” 

Haitians sit outside

Haitians sit outside.  (Tali Marcelin)

“It’s just really hard to keep stuff stocked [up]. We do the best that we can. But sometimes that does mean that, you know, someone gets prescribed something and we just don’t have it on our pharmacy’s shelf, and they have to buy it elsewhere,” Marcelin continued.

“And unfortunately, the people that we’re working with, a lot of them don’t have the money to go buy it, you know, at a pharmacy. So they end up either not getting treated or partial treatment or something like that, which [is] a tough one.”

The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to roughly 4 p.m. However, they’ve had to close early due to unrest and the sound of gunshots in the area, and sometimes PID’s staff stay overnight to avoid traveling to and from their homes on unsafe roads.

Marcelin estimated that within the past two years, they’ve probably closed their gates for eight or 10 days. 

medical clinic Haiti

A mother and child visit Partners In Development’s medical clinic.  ((Tali Marcelin))

“We usually don’t see a lot of the violence right in where we are, even if it’s in other areas, which we’ve been lucky because of that, but yeah, about two weeks ago, we did have to close for about a day and a half,” she said.

The clinic has roughly 30 full- and part-time staff, a primary care physician, triage nurses, pharmacists and lab technicians. They also provide a range of services from wound and emergency care to pre- and post-natal care. 

“There’s always been a great need in Haiti. We’ve been in Haiti long enough to see, you know, we’ve gone through earthquakes and coups and hurricanes and you name it. People are so resilient and they have. . . . I think I always see a lot of hope in the Haitian people. You know, they’re always looking for the future, and they’re hanging on to any bit of hope,” the PID director told Fox News Digital. 

More than 53,000 people have fled the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area between March 8 and March 27, according to a report from the U.N.’s International Organization for Migration (IOM). 

people flee port au prince

Bus carrying luggage due to gang problem as gangs set fire to several pharmacies, clinics and a few houses in the vicinity of the general hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on March 26, 2024. (Photo by Guerinault Louis/Anadolu via Getty Images)

“Attacks and generalized insecurity are pushing more and more people to leave the capital to find refuge in provinces, taking the risks of passing through gangs-controlled routes,” the IOM said in its report. 

The organization also found that the majority of displaced people fleeing the capital were traveling to southern Haiti, specifically Grande’Anse and Nippes, among other areas.


The Dominican Republic was the intended final destination of 3% of people, according to the IOM. 

Gang Leader Jimmy 'Barbecue' Cherizier

Gang Leader Jimmy ‘Barbecue’ Cherizier patrolling the streets with G-9 federation gang members in the Delmas 3 area on February 22, 2024, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. ((Photo by Giles Clarke/Getty Images))

PID Haiti Field Director Raymond Niquelson, who has worked with the nonprofit since 1999, told Fox News Digital that the past few weeks in the area haven’t “been so good.”

“People can’t go out of the area, but our clinic is loaded with patients. Some of the patients have to leave and come back the following day because we are too busy,” he said. 


“Honestly, other places have shut down, and they are not providing services anymore. We are thankful we are able to continue providing services to the people.”

Ashley Carnahan is a production assistant at Fox News Digital.

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