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 16, 2015

PIH Haiti Earthquake Recovery June 2015 Update

"Improbably, the 2010 earthquake that killed an estimated 300,000 people in Haiti has also helped bring Michelle and Marian a shot at a normal life."

Thank you for supporting Partners In Health, specifically our work to continue building long-term, quality health systems in Haiti in the years of recovery from the 2010 earthquake -- admist many other challenges. 

Please take a moment to read a heartwarming story about a complex surgery successfully carried out at University Hospital in Mirebalais, Haiti, constructed by Partners In Health in partnership with the Haitian government, as part of our response to the devastating 2010 earthquake.  

The generosity of supporters like yourself has enabled PIH to drastically improve the standard of care in Haiti and other resource-poor settings.  While there is much work to be done, the successful separation of conjoined twin sisters this past May is a shining example of what is now possible in rural Haiti:

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 story


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.

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