Partners In Health (PIH)

Our mission is to provide a preferential option for the poor in health care. By establishing long-term relationships with sister organizations based in settings of poverty, Partners In Health strives to achieve two overarching goals: to bring the benefits of modern medical science to those most in need of them and to serve as an antidote to despair. We draw on the resources of the world's leading medical and academic institutions and on the lived experience of the world's poorest and sickest communities. At its root, our mission is both medical and moral. It is based on solidarity, rather than charity alone. When our patients are ill and have no access to care, our team of health professi...
Jun 2, 2015

University Hospital in Haiti June 2015 Update

 Above: Marian's surgical team wore red bandanas, while Michelle's wore yellow ones as they worked in an HUM operating room on Friday, May 22.

Thank you for supporting Partners In Health and University Hospital in Mirebalais, Haiti. Below is a summary of an incredible story that we are thrilled to share with you, and I strongly encourage you to click the link at the bottom of the page to read the full story.  

Partners In Health and Zanmi Lasante, its sister organization in Haiti, are proud to announce that 6-month-old conjoined twin sisters were successfully separated on Friday, May 22, at University Hospital (HUM) in Mirebalais and are in stable condition within the hospital’s intensive care unit.

A national and international team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and other specialists collaborated on the twins’ case from the time they were in utero through planning, surgery, and post-operative care. Dr. Christophe Milien, HUM’s director of obstetrics and gynecology, provided prenatal care to the mother and delivered the babies, who have a healthy fraternal triplet sister, by cesarean section on November 24, 2014.

Drs. Henri Ford and James Stein, of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, led the international team of surgeons during the separation and were joined by their colleagues and others from Bernard Mevs, Florida Hospital, Cornell Weill Hospital, Children’s Hospital Oakland, Boston Children’s Hospital, PULSE, Loma Linda Hospital, and others.

The babies shared a liver but no major vasculature, and represented one of the least complex variations of conjoined twins. Surgeons separated the pair during a seven-hour procedure without any major complications. Their recovery has been rapid; both are breathing on their own and have taken their first bottles.

 

Full storyhttp://www.pih.org/blog/conjoined-twin-sisters-successfully-separated-in-haiti

Links:

Apr 21, 2015

PIH Cholera Response in Haiti - April 2015 Update

Thank you for supporting Partners In Health and our efforts to fight Cholera in Haiti.  We’re thrilled to share excerpts from an article recently published on our website about the success of the Cholera vaccination campaign—made possible with the support of generous people like yourself.

When a cholera epidemic exploded in Haiti less than a year after the devastating earthquake in January of 2010, the staff at Partners In Health/Zanmi Lasante responded immediately and aggressively. We mobilized thousands of community health workers, opened cholera treatment wards, ran sanitation and hygiene initiatives, and more. A proposal to administer the new, World Health Organization-approved vaccine Shanchol was also floated.

The idea was doubted and criticized by many, but the community wanted the vaccine, and PIH/ZL was determined to provide the best care available. With the blessing of the Haitian Ministry of Health, PIH/ZL pushed ahead, and after overcoming all sorts of obstacles in distributing the tiny vials—training legions of staff, fighting the axle-gripping mud of rainy season, working around a simultaneous polio vaccination campaign, ensuring 45,417 patients swallowed two doses of the drug two weeks apart—the campaign finished in June 2012.

This past February, Dr. Louise C. Ivers and colleagues published a paper showing exactly how much the vaccine Shanchol slowed the spread of cholera in villages north of St. Marc, Haiti, in 2012. Writing in The Lancet Global Health online, the senior health and policy adviser at Partners In Health finds that Shanchol was widely effective when administered to thousands of adults and children in the region. “We found that there were about 65 percent fewer cholera cases among people that were vaccinated than there were in those that were unvaccinated,” she says.

It’s fantastic news, and not just for the obvious reason that fewer cholera cases means fewer cholera fatalities. ”Effectiveness of reactive oral cholera vaccination in rural Haiti: a case-control study and bias-indicator analysis” also reminds us of the importance of a vaccination campaign that almost never happened. And it paves the way for even stronger efforts to end the epidemic that has killed 8,800 Haitians and infected 20,000 last year alone. “It’s a huge victory,” says Dr. Ralph Ternier, director of community care and support at Partners In Health's (PIH) sister organization Zanmi Lasante (ZL).

“Our study contributes to mounting evidence that oral cholera vaccines have an important role to play as a component of comprehensive, integrated cholera control efforts in Haiti,” the study concludes.

As Dr. Ivers hints, the results of the study aren’t as earth-shattering as might be expected, but rather put a fine point on a cholera-fighting strategy that has become, well, standard. Since the vaccination campaign, the Haitian Ministry of Health, with the support of their partners, administered the vaccine to 300,000 citizens, and the World Health Organization has begun stockpiling the drug for use in future outbreaks.

Apr 21, 2015

Maternal Mortality Reduction Update - April 2015

Thank you so much for supporting Partners In Health and our work to bring quality health care to women and babies living in rural Lesotho.

Working directly with Lesotho’s Ministry of Health, PIH has provided support and training for 8,000 Village Health Workers and significantly increased the number of facility-based deliveries. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we continue to help women like Tebello, who—without the support and accompaniment of a Village Health Worker—are in danger of losing their lives in childbirth.

Tebello is like a lot of expectant mothers living in very remote, resource-poor settings. Her village in Lesotho is miles and miles away from the nearest clinic—three hours by foot. Traveling long distances while pregnant is often difficult and deters many women from seeking care. But for Tebello, the trip was basically impossible. She has a disability and is unable to walk. 

Her story could have been tragic if it weren’t for a PIH/Lesotho Village Health Worker who discovered the mother-to-be only days before she was due to give birth. Knowing how important it was for Tebello and her baby to have the proper medical care, the Village Health Worker arranged to have her carried on a stretcher to the nearest village with access to a road. From there, she and Tebello were taken by car to the clinic.

Because of Tebello’s disability, her son was delivered by cesarean section. Had she delivered at home, she would have faced childbirth alone, with no trained medical professional who knew what do when seconds made the difference. It could have been tragic. Any complication could have resulted in death.

With the village health worker’s support and accompaniment, Tebello and her son survived. They stayed at the clinic after the delivery to ensure the health of both mother and baby and they returned for a postnatal visit.

Your continued support of PIH’s Maternal Mortality Reduction Project in Lesotho reaches women like Tebello every day, and we are incredibly grateful for your partnership in delivering quality health care to some of the world’s most vulnerable people. 

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