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 ...
Jun 22, 2016

PIH Haiti Earthquake Recovery June 2016 Update

Thank you so much for your support of Partners In Health's work in Haiti, as the country continues to rebuild after the earthquake six and a half years ago.

The 2010 disaster left Haiti and its health care system in shambles -- which Dr. Macarthur Charles, the Centers for Disease Control's Tuberculosis Advisor in Haiti, helps explain in a recent CDC blog post. We invite you to read an excerpt from this post below, and to read the full article here. Dr. Charles writes:

 

"Sadly, expertise in TB is badly needed here in Haiti, which is very poor, has relatively high rates of HIV, a weak health infrastructure, and the highest reported TB prevalence rates in the western hemisphere – 300 cases per 100,000 people. The Dominican Republic, with which Haiti shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, has just half the number of cases. 

So the situation here is of obvious concern in global health security terms. As Dr. Frieden and others stressed at the mid-February launch of the Global Health Security Agenda, the frontline is wherever diseases break out. Disease knows no borders, and we live in an age of increased mobility. But more specifically, Haiti is known to be one of the top ten contributors of TB cases to the United States. To combat TB in the U.S., we have to fight it abroad, especially in countries like Haiti where multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB has emerged as a particular concern since the earthquake struck in 2010.

The quake damaged TB hospitals, displaced 1.5 million people and forced them to crowd into cramped quarters – a classic situation conducive to the transmission of an infectious disease. I was here in Port au Prince the whole of 2010. At the main (and, at the time, only functioning) field TB hospital in the Haitian capital, we were seeing twice as many TB patients as before the quake. We were seeing many more children with TB. Most of the new TB cases were HIV-negative. CDC helped reinforce surveillance in crowded camps in Port au Prince in the months after the earthquake."

 

PIH continues its mission to strengthen Haiti's health care system, to fight TB and other preventable diseases, and to bring health care and hope to all we serve. It's only possible with your support -- thank you.

Links:

Jun 22, 2016

PIH Ebola Response June 2016 Update

Photo by Rebecca E. Rollins / Partners In Health
Photo by Rebecca E. Rollins / Partners In Health

Above: A labor and delivery bed in Liberia's Pleebo Health Center, before Partners In Health renovated. This is one example of the inadequate facilities that comprised the country's weak health system.

Ebola may not dominate the news cycle anymore, but the crisis is far from over, as Sierra Leone and Liberia continue to suffer the consequences of an epidemic that killed thousands and destroyed already-weak health systems. Partners In Health is committed to rebuilding these systems to protect against another epidemic as well as to improve health and welfare across West Africa. While much of the international relief effort has ceased in Sierra Leone and Liberia, PIH's work in these countries is only beginning -- and it's all possible thanks to your support.

The Atlantic recently published an article about the devastating aftermath of Ebola in Liberia. At the hand of the epidemic, the country faces increased levels of food insecurity, poverty and displacement. Meanwhile, fear of and miseducation about the virus remain. All of these factors lead to a higher risk of emerging diseases -- and a strong possibility of a resurgence of Ebola itself.

We're pleased to share that PIH's own Bryan Murphy-Eustis provides insight and perspective on the Ebola crisis in The Atlantic's article. Below is an excerpt:

 

"Bryan Murphy-Eustis, the executive director of Partners in Health Liberia, says, “If you believe, as I do, that Ebola preyed upon a fractured health system, then anything less than a systematic and long-term strengthening of the health system falls short of what’s needed.” But 30 to 40 percent of Liberians lack access to health care today, just the same as before the epidemic. And now that aid budgets are moving on to the next international emergency, Zika, only one Ebola treatment center remains operational. “Ebola eroded the already weak confidence in the health system,” Murphy-Eustis says, and serious new health problems have begun to emerge. During the outbreak, “mass vaccination campaigns were postponed to avoid public gatherings,” he says. Drug regimens for contagious diseases were disrupted, which has led, for instance, to an increase in mortality from multiple-drug-resistant tuberculosis."

 

We encourage you to read the full article here.

Thank you again for your continued support of West Africa and PIH's work. 

Links:

Jun 16, 2016

University Hospital in Haiti June 2016 Update

Photos by Cecille Joan Avila / Partners In Health
Photos by Cecille Joan Avila / Partners In Health

Nurse Thamar Julmiste (right), who attended the first neonatal and pediatric intensive care training, attends to a newborn in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. Therese Hospital in Hinche, Haiti.

Thank you so much for supporting Partners In Health/Zanmi Lasante and University Hospital in Mirebalais, Haiti.

We are thrilled to share with you news of the latest training course in neonatal and pediatric intensive care at University Hospital.

The Hospital hosted this free, 24-week-long training for 26 nurses from around the country, who will receive certification from the Haitian government next month and be counted among Haiti's emergent group of neonatal and pediatric intensive care nurse specialists.

Currently in Haiti, for advanced training in areas other than midwifery or community health, students must travel outside of the country -- and many don't return. Consequently, Haiti faces a shortage of medical professionals with specialized skills. The University Hospital-hosted training course aims to correct this imbalance and ensure that Haiti's health system is comprised of medical professionals with a wide variety of specialities and expertises.

The guiding principle behind the training was, in the words of Marc Julmisse, University Hospital's chief nursing officer: "Everyone deserves the best level of care." His goal for participating clinicians is to develop specizlied skills and critical thinking tools to "become a valuable member of the patient care team." Nurse Thamar Julmiste, who participated in the inaugural training course, echoed this sentiment. "Nurses should take this training because with more nurses knowing [how to handle these situations], we will save more children. Our expectation is that you're going to be a leader."

None of this work would be possible without your generous support -- thank you!

 
   

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