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...
May 20, 2010

PBS video segment on Zanmi Agrikol

PBS NewsHour featured the work of Zanmi Agrikol (“Partners In Agriculture”), PIH’s agricultural partner organization in Haiti. Following the January earthquake, Zanmi Agrikol’s efforts have focused on ramping up food production and helping local farming families harvest enough food to feed their growing communities in sustainable ways.

Zanmi Agrikol works with local farmers to grow peanuts and create Nourimanba, the RUTF used to treat malnourished children.

Watch the PBS NewsHour piece at the link below (the segment with Zanmi Agrikol begins around 4:30):

Links:

May 7, 2010

Mental Health Services at Partners In Health/ZL

PBS NewsHour recently interviewed Father Eddy Eustache, a priest and psychologist who serves as Director of Mental Health and Psychosocial Services for Zanmi Lasante, PIH's sister organization in Haiti. Below is an excerpt from the interview. Read the full piece at the link below: Q: What are the most common mental health challenges you are seeing in Haiti at this point?

A: Almost four months after the earthquake we are seeing people having various kinds of emotional distress responses. These include difficulty sleeping, heart palpitations, somatic complaints, and significant sadness, worry and anxiety. Some of these can be seen as normal reactions to a highly abnormal situation. However, the level of distress for many is severe. We also see people who have developed psychotic reactions, and other more acute mental health problems, since the earthquake.

One major challenge is a general lack of services in Haiti to address significant mental health problems. Haiti had few mental health professionals, and limited organized mental health services prior to the earthquake. There was not a clear understanding of the prevalence of mental health problems in Haiti prior to the earthquake, but we can expect that the mental health dimensions of the earthquake, overlaid on the pre-existing issue of poverty, will have significant ramifications for mental health. Our hope is to further develop the services needed to assist with such problems, in a culturally appropriate way, for the long-term.

Q: How are mental health workers trying to address the needs?

A: Interventions are needed that respect people's capacity to recover from such an event, that do not pathologize normative responses to such a terrible circumstance, that do not risk harm to individuals, that have some evidence for their efficacy, and that are appropriate to the Haitian context.

At Zanmi Lasante [Partners in Health] we have expanded our team to 17 psychologists from three prior to the earthquake, and to more than 50 staff focused exclusively on mental health and psychosocial services. We have been working ... to provide communal opportunities for mourning, to develop community-based supportive interventions in collaboration with schools and churches, and we have expanded basic clinical services.

This has included training of doctors and nurses in management of acute mental health problems, and planning for expansion of the system of care to include community health workers attuned to mental health, and development of effective referral networks to providers.

Read the full interview at the link below:

Links:

Apr 20, 2010

Stand With Haiti: Three-Month Progress Report

In response to the devastation following the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that ravaged Haiti on January 12, 2010, Partners In Health (PIH) and its sister organization, Zanmi Lasante (ZL), with 4,403 local staff and a large network of public hospitals and health centers, immediately began delivering treatment and care to earthquake survivors in Port-au-Prince and across the Central and Artibonite Departments.

The long-term ramifications of this disaster will be significant and far-reaching. To address them, PIH/ZL has taken on relief, recovery, and rebuilding activities in three core areas: clinical services, social and economic support services, and health systems strengthening. This report outlines PIH/ZL’s activities in these program areas from January 12 through April 12, 2010. Highlights include:

• In the first month after the earthquake, PIH/ZL emergency medical efforts treated 4,961 critically injured patients through facility-based interventions, set up, stocked, and staffed 25 operating rooms, identified roughly 1,000 additional patients and referred them to collaborating medical relief organizations, and evacuated 140 patients to the USNS Comfort and hospitals abroad.

• PIH/ZL established clinics in four settlement sites to serve the basic healthcare needs of 88,000 displaced people in Port-au-Prince. Since January 25, these four clinics have treated more than 50,000 patients.

• During the first three months, PIH/ZL hired 358 additional local staff, shipped more than 422 tons of medicines, supplies and equipment, and deployed 516 clinical and technical volunteers.

• PIH/ZL has already supported more than 10,000 people and their families with social or economic support in the form of cash, food, agriculture assistance, educational support, jobs, or other services over the course of the past three months.

• Bolstered capacity at our 12 clinical sites in the Central Plateau and Artibonite to meet the needs of both thousands of injured survivors and tens of thousands of displaced people, who are in need of basic health services.

PIH/ZL approaches “building back better” in Haiti with the same values and principles that have guided our work for many years, namely: partnership with the Government of Haiti to achieve sustainable, long-term improvements to the country’s public health system; pragmatic solidarity with the Haitian people to address their basic needs; and a comprehensive approach to help lift communities out of poverty.

Please open the attached PDF for the full report.


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