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...
Mar 15, 2011

PIH Advocates for increased cholera vaccinations & clean water systems in Haiti

In response to reports showing that cholera will continue to spread in Haiti, and to evidence that even a limited vaccination campaign could save thousands of lives, Partners In Health continues to advocate that the international community must step up vaccination and efforts to provide clean potable water to all Haitians.

Drs. David Walton, Arjun Suri, and Paul Farmer write that the international community should not be arguing the “value of competing interventions when in fact complementary ones are needed.”

In “Cholera in Haiti: Fully Integrating Prevention and Care,” published in the March 7 edition of Annals of Internal Medicine, the team of PIH physicians contend that: “Because cholera is part of a vicious cycle of poverty, poor sanitation, water contamination, and a weak health system, we argue for an approach that combines prevention and care at every step.”

PIH’s Drs. Walton, Suri, and Farmer argue three points in their article: 

  • Cholera will continue to spread, and it will continue to be deadly. 

Morbidity and mortality rates during the epidemic phase of cholera is likely to last well into 2011… [C]holera may become endemic in Haiti.

Since October, 2010, at least 215,936 cases of cholera have been reported across all 10 of Haiti's geographic departments, and among these, at least 4,131 patients (or 1.9 percent of those infected) have died. These numbers very likely underestimate the actual scope of infection and death.

  • Even a limited vaccination campaign would significantly impact the number of new infections.

[Evidence supports our] initiating and expanding cholera vaccination in Haiti as soon as possible. Although vaccines can be effective even with limited use, broader and earlier intervention leads to greater risk reduction, highlighting the need for a global stockpile of cholera vaccine to respond rapidly to epidemics.

[W]idespread rapid vaccination in previous epidemics in the last decade may have averted 40 percent of cases and deaths… even a “reactive” cholera vaccination campaign with 50 percent coverage could have prevented more than 10,000 cases of the disease in Zimbabwe in 2008 and 2009.

  • An impactful intervention must recognize the complexity of Haiti’s current situation.

The dual approach of vaccination and clean water illustrates the positive synergies of a comprehensive strategy that combines multiple interventions.

The challenge of cholera in Haiti reveals the biosocial complexity before us. A comprehensive strategy that ranges from oral and intravenous rehydration and antibiotic therapy to strengthening Haiti's public water and sanitation systems, while also including vaccination, is the best way to limit the spread of cholera in Haiti.


To read the full article, click the link below:


Mar 15, 2011

Nourimanba/Nourimil Production in 2010

PIH uses two therapeutic foods to treat and prevent severe pediatric malnutrition.  Nourimanba is a “Ready to Use Therapeutic Food” made from a peanut butter base combined with milk powder, vegetable oil, sugar and a specially formulated vitamin mix for malnourished children. Nourimanba can be offered as an outpatient treatment; receiving treatment at home means that children are prevented from being needlessly exposed to other ill children in the pediatric ward, which is a particular risk for children whose systems are compromised by malnutrition. Having to tend to a hospitalized child is also particularly difficult for many impoverished families we serve in Haiti, who often have several other children at home and live at great distance from clinic, so this outpatient aspect of the treatment is crucial. For children who are who are moderately malnourished or transitioning off Nourimanba, Zanmi Lasante provides a locally produced mixture of milled grain and legumes called Nourimil.

Both Nourimanba and Nourimil are prepared and packaged in Zanmi Lasante’s production and distribution center in Cange.  Local in-house production of Nourimanba and Nourimil stimulates the local economy by employing the local workforce and encouraging local agriculture. Because the Cange production facility is too small, we are currently working with a partner to build and equip a new facility to produce Nourimanba and Nourimil. This facility will allow for better quality control and potential future expansion of our operations.  

Even with the smaller space, Zanmi Lasante produced over 60,000 5lb bags of Nourimil, and over 56,000 kgs of Nourimanba in 2010. Attached you will find a monthly breakdown of production:

Mar 15, 2011

Mirebalais Hospital - February 2011 Update

Walls going up
Walls going up

(update from February 22, 2011)

Mirebalais Teaching Hospital is quickly rising in the Central Plateau of Haiti.

The walls have been erected for six of the buildings—the women’s outpatient clinic, the ambulatory clinic, the emergency room, the women’s triage, the labor and delivery unit, and the community health clinic.

Additionally, the workers’ camp is almost complete, so the non-local workers will soon have an on-site residence. After the hospital has been inaugurated, the workers’ camp will be turned into medical student dorms.

Every day, the construction employs over 100 workers, approximately 95 percent of whom are Haitians laborers, masons, and carpenters from Mirebalais and nearby towns.

This week, a 280’ well was drilled, and groundwork was laid for the third and final well that will converge into the hospital’s extensive water pipe system. This is in addition to the well created for community use by Mirebalais residents.

Hospital layout
Hospital layout
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