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Chaos in P-au-P claims the life of Dr. Nathalie Laurent


Dr. Nathalie Laurent tragically lost her life  at a time when the country is desperately short of health workers

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Heavily armed bandits wreaked havoc in Delmas 28 on the weekend of March 3.

To escape the storm of bullets, a couple fled urgently to Delmas 31.

As they hurried back to their emergency home on Monday, March 4, several bullets fired by a bandit tore through their car in Delmas 24.

Seriously injured in the abdomen, the woman, Nathalie Laurent, was rushed to the Bernard Mevs hospital: the centre was closed.

The family rushed to the OFATMA hospital in Cité-Militaire. But the anesthesiologist, who had to urgently get to the hospital for surgery, was forced to turn back due to heavy gunfire on Route de l’Aéroport.

Read also: Haiti: Hospitals overwhelmed by events

After much effort, the victim was urgently transferred to another health facility in Fragneau-Ville.

But after 9 days in hospital, her fight for life ended on March 12, 2024: the young doctor, Nathalie Laurent, passed away.

Dr Nathalie Laurent

Dr. Nathalie Laurent

« It’s an unbearable ordeal to witness the loss of a loved one in front of your own eyes, helpless, » Jean Rosvald Laurent, the victim’s husband, told AyiboPost.

A doctor at the Grace Children’s Hospital in Delmas 31, Nathalie Laurent still refused to leave her country. This « tragically exposed her to insecurity, » her husband said.

After 9 days in hospital, her fight for life ended on March 12, 2024: the young doctor, Nathalie Laurent, died.

Born in Gonaïves in 1977, Laurent dedicated nearly 16 years of her professional life to serving Haiti.

The only child in her family, she completed her secondary education in her hometown before pursuing higher education at the Faculty of Medicine of the Université Lumière in Port-au-Prince between 1997 and 2004.

In December 2013, Laurent married attorney Jean Rosvald Laurent, a member of the Mirebalais Bar Association.

Her professional commitments were numerous. For example, Laurent worked at the Doctors Without Borders Cholera Treatment Center (CTC) in Martissant and as a member of the medical staff of the Church of God in Delmas 17.

Read also: Photos | Eight days of terror in Haiti

Nadia Leblanc Jeanty, a nurse and long-time work friend of the deceased at Grace Children’s Hospital for nearly 12 years, could hardly contain the extent of her sadness.

« In my years as a nurse, I have never met such a tireless doctor, » she says, noting Laurent’s « exemplary » dedication. « She provided care with unparalleled tenderness, treating each patient with the care befitting members of her own family. »

Stéphane Michel, a doctor who was present at the scene at the time of Laurent’s admission to the OFATMA hospital, was shocked by this news.

« This situation describes the magnitude of a context in Haiti where no one is spared, » says Dr. Michel, who regrets that health professionals have no structure « or resources available to come to [their] aid where urgent care is needed. »

Born in Gonaïves in 1977, Laurent dedicated nearly 16 years of her professional life to serving Haiti.

Described as a person who never gave up despite the country’s situation, Dr. Nathalie Laurent has passed at a time when the country is sorely lacking in health workers.

Read also: Leurs professeurs quittent Haïti, les étudiants en médecine de l’UEH à l’épreuve des cours en ligne

Long before the acceleration of insecurity in 2021, studies reported that 40% of doctors trained in Haiti had fled the country; with 13% of them finding refuge in the United States.

In a 2017 report, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that the country has an average of 5.9 doctors or nurses, and 6.5 health professionals for every 10,000 inhabitants. These figures are far from the WHO’s minimum recommendations.

« It’s a loss for the medical community, for Haiti, for the family, and it’s only regret, in a country where nothing works, » said her husband, Jean Rosvald Laurent, frustrated.

The attorney does not even intend to file a complaint because, according to him, it would be an « useless act. »

The state « has failed in its mission, » he told AyiboPost.

By Lucnise Duquereste

Cover image: Doctor Nathalie Laurent. | © Her Facebook account

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Journaliste à AyiboPost depuis mars 2023, Duquereste est étudiante finissante en communication sociale à la Faculté des Sciences Humaines (FASCH).