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 ...
Sep 21, 2016

PIH Haiti Earthquake Recovery Sept. 2016 Update

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

Patients are treated at the Cholera Treatment Center in Mirebalais, Haiti, on Nov. 8, 2012.

Thank you for your support of Partners In Health and our efforts to help Haiti continue rebuilding after the 2010 earthquake.

In the months after the earthquake, United Nations peacekeepers contaminated a crucial waterway with cholera, introducing to Haiti the disease that can trigger vomiting and diarrhea so severe it can kill in mere hours. Since 2010, 10,000 Haitians have died of cholera, and this year alone there have been 26,000 reported cases.

The U.N. recently accepted responsibility for bringing cholera to Haiti, and in response Partners In Health sent a petition to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations urging the organization to support cholera treatment and prevention efforts. You can read the petition here.

Meanwhile, Partners In Health continues to fight cholera, bringing urgent care to Haiti's destitute countryside, vaccinating and educating communties, and building clean water infrastructure to prevent future spread of the disease.

More information about Haiti's cholera outbreak, and PIH's response, is available here.

Thank you for your generous support that makes our work possible.

Links:

Sep 20, 2016

PIH Ebola Response September 2016 Update

Thank you for your continued support of Partners In Health's efforts to rebuild the health systems in Sierra Leona and Liberia that were destroyed by Ebola. 

We're pleased to share with you an article from the Thomson Reuters Foundation that highlights the necessity of strengthening West Africa's health systems. An excerpt is below, along with a link to the full article:

 

"Rushing from one pregnant woman to another in the antenatal ward of Sierra Leone's main maternity hospital, Josephine, a midwifery student, is all too aware of the danger facing the dozens of expecting mothers under her care.

These women are preparing to give birth in a country estimated to have the world's highest rate of maternal deaths. More than one in 100 women in the West African nation die during childbirth, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

"My niece died during childbirth a few years ago," Josephine, 34, said during a break at the Princess Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH) in the capital of Freetown.

"I wasn't there to assist her, to save her," she said, sweat dripping down her faded lilac scrubs. "Pregnant women must come to hospital regularly so that they can get the help they need."

Despite a chronic lack of doctors, nurses and midwives and a tradition of giving birth at home, maternal deaths were on the decline in Sierra Leone until 2013 - having halved since 1990.

Then Ebola struck. The world's worst outbreak of the virus ravaged the country's fragile health system, killed a tenth of its doctors and scared people away from health centres.

Maternal and child deaths spiked as a result, and the country's maternal mortality rate soared to 1,360 deaths per 100,000 births last year from 1,100 in 2013, U.N. data shows.

The government and the United Nations say they have learnt lessons from the Ebola epidemic, which sparked a fresh drive to improve the health system - on which less than 10 percent of the state budget is spent - and reduce maternal deaths.

"Ebola was a necessary evil,"a midwife adviser for the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "It was an eye-opener which showed the issues facing our health system. Now we must tackle them."

Those issues include training more midwives, coaxing doctors back from abroad, boosting blood donations and ensuring women give birth in health facilities, health experts say."

 

Partners In Health is committed to alleviating the health crises that continue to plague West Africa in the wake of the Ebola epidemic. We thank you for your generous support - we could not do this work without you.

Links:

Sep 13, 2016

University Hospital in Haiti September 2016 Update

Cecille Joan Avila / Partners In Health
Cecille Joan Avila / Partners In Health

Thank you very much for your continued support of Partners In Health/Zanmi Lasante and University Hospital in Mirebalais (HUM), Haiti.

We're pleased to share with you a story about Lauria (pictured above), a nurse at University Hospital. Please enjoy the excerpt below, and read the full story at http://www.pih.org/.

Watching her work with patients and staff, it’s hard to imagine Lauria as anything but a nurse. Yet the profession was not her first choice. A lover of math, physics, and chemistry, the Cayes native dreamed of becoming a civil engineer in her community along the southern coast. Her mother had other ideas. Tuition for nursing was much more affordable, so she pushed her daughter to pursue the career against her wishes.

Lauria was in her second year at the National Nursing School of Cayes when her father mysteriously fell ill. He started driving four hours, one way, to Port-au-Prince to visit doctors in search of answers, and his daughter often accompanied him.

“We went to five different hospitals hoping for a diagnosis, but were never given one,” Lauria said. The young nurse thought her father might be suffering from tuberculosis or pneumonia. She talked to him about his illness, bolstered his hope, and encouraged him to keep taking his medication. Finally, at the capital’s TB sanatorium, they learned he had lung cancer.

“My dad died in May of 2010,” Lauria said. “It was too late for the doctors to do anything for him.”

Caring for her father made Lauria appreciate the value of her new profession, and small encounters during her clinical rotations reinforced her sense of purpose. One patient from her early years of nursing school stands out in her mind. The woman was in a “horrible state,” Lauria remembered. Her catheter hadn’t been changed. She hadn’t been bathed in four days. And her hair and teeth hadn’t been brushed for likely as long. The young nurse carefully washed her, brushed her teeth and hair, and changed her clothes and bed sheets.

“It was then when I realized I needed to continue this work, because people needed my help,” Lauria said. “I learned the importance of nursing; it’s not about me, it’s about my patients.”

Thank you again for your support!

Links:

 
   

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