OLAGN: Providing healthcare under the threat of gang-violence: perspectives of Haitian healthcare providers

Speaker: Rachel Belt (Nuffield Department of Women’s & Reproductive Health)

Discussant: Prof. Eduardo Gamarra (Department of Politics & International Relations at Florida International University)


Abstract: Haiti faces a crisis of insecurity, exacerbated by the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in 2011 and a worsening economic crisis. Gang violence has led to the closure of schools and medical facilities in the capital of Port-au-Prince. Between January and August 2023, more than 2,500 people have been killed, almost 1,000 injured and at least 970 have been kidnapped (UNOCHA). 10,000 people have had to leave their homes. Medical professionals in Haiti are a target of violence due to their perceived wealth and to provide care to armed non-state actors. This phenomenon is documented in a study by the University of Oxford and the Centre for Haitian Studies. The cross-sectional, mixed-methods study of Haitian healthcare workers documents the security risks of medical professionals.


rachel belt olagn

Bio: Rachel Belt is a doctoral student at the University of Oxford and an experienced public health professional. Her professional and academic work focuses on reaching vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations with health services. She has worked in global public health for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance –COVAX, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, Doctors Without Borders, the Haitian Government and the Medical Research Council in Haiti, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Somalia and Pakistan. She studied Political Science at Columbia University and has a Masters in Humanitarian Health Programme Management from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Her current research focuses on mobile phone surveys for health with studies in Haiti, Chile, Kenya and Nigeria, in collaboration with the Centre for Haitian Studies, Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes, SHOFCO and UNICEF.


The event will be hybrid, and attendees are welcome to attend in person or via Zoom:


Meeting ID: 819 3073 8033

Passcode: 7zmgw8eN


Looking forward to seeing many of you there! 

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