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 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!

May 19, 2016

Support children in Malawi - May 2016 Update

Photo by Nandi Bwanali / Partners In Health
Photo by Nandi Bwanali / Partners In Health

Above: Students in Neno, Malawi show off their new shoes and school uniforms provided by POSER.

With school now in session, PIH/Abwenzi Pa Za Umo (APZU)'s Program for Social and Economic Rights (POSER) team is busy ensuring that the needs of the many students supported by the department are met. In addition to paying school fees, the team is rolling out the distribution of school shoes, uniforms, and other learning materials such as notebooks and pens.

The cost of a school uniform is now around $5, a hefty price for most in the parents and guardians living in Neno district in rural Malawi, where the average daily income is less than $1. Wearing a proper school uniform, however, is a prerequisite for attending classes and students without uniforms are sent home and denied a chance to an education.

Students like Happy George, an eleventh grade student who was identified by his classmates as the poorest in the class was referred to POSER by his school when his guardians were unable to continue to support his education.

Happy George, who is at top of his class, lost his parents when he was very young and has since been supported by his older sisters who dropped out of school to care for their family and work to make money to fund their brother’s education.

“This helps ease the burden on the parents and guardians as they cannot afford to send the children to school, let alone buy them school materials. We usually see cases where the lucky few manage to get one or two books which is still not sufficient for all their subjects,” shared Ivy Mwanaku, POSER assistant.

Happy George would one day like to become a scientist. This is one of many dreams and aspirations the department is supporting.

“We try our best to make sure that they learn just like the other students with their concern and concentration being solely on passing their exams,” said Mwanaku.

At the beginning of the year the department accounted for 2,000 children living in Neno District who are need of school aid. Most of these children are now receiving school support from POSER, and more children are being referred. The POSER team works diligently in its efforts to identify children in need of support and proceeding with their efforts to help them receive the education they deserve.

May 19, 2016

PIH Cholera Response in Haiti - May 2016 Update

Thank you for supporting Partners In Health/Zanmi Lasante and our efforts to end the continuing cholera outbreak in Haiti.

Nearly six years after arriving in Haiti, cholera is still sickening and killing thousands of Haitians. According to recent government figures, over 770,000 Haitians - 7% of the country's population - have suffered from cholera. 9,200 have died. So far in 2016, more than 6,000 have fallen ill, and on average 37 people are dying per month.

Cholera occurs so regularly in Haiti that World Health Organization officials now consider it endemic to the country. Many researchers point out that the cholera bacterium has likely become established in the country's rivers, estuaries and coastal waters, making the illness that much harder to eradicate. Not to mention the fact that only 24% of the population has access to toilets, meaning that adequate sanitation and safe water - keys to beating cholera - are unavailable to the vast majority of Haitians.

Dwindling international support for cholera eradication compounds these issues. In 2010, when cholera first hit Haiti, over 200 international organizations were offering financial and policy assistance. Fewer than 12 of these organizations are still providing these resources, which has slowed relief efforts and helped allow cholera to rage on.

PIH's senior health and policy advisor, Dr. Louise Ivers, commented, "We need to raise our expectations of what's possible to do in Haiti and other countries in terms of these diseases that we've completely eliminated from our own societies."

PIH/ZL continues to fight cholera through treatment and prevention. Our staff of local community health workers accompany cholera patients to treatment at PIH clinics; open rehydtration posts in remote locations; educate communities about santitation; and work to establish adquate sanitation and water systems.

Your support makes this lifesaving work possible, and along the way helps redefine what's possible in global health. From all of us at PIH, thank you!

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