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 ...
Apr 11, 2012

Haiti Earthquake Recovery - April 2012 update

On April 8, Jon Lascher, PIH’s Haiti Program Manager, updated viewers on Haiti’s cholera epidemic during a live interview on MSNBC’s The Melissa Harris-Perry Show:

Haitian cholera epidemic in wake of earthquake devastation 

Just months after a devastating earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, an outbreak of Cholera followed, claiming the lives of thousands. Haitian American blogger Alice Backer, former AP correspondent Jonathan Katz, and Jon Lascher from Partners In Health, join Melissa Harris-Perry in discussing the source of the epidemic and the potential dangers brought by the upcoming rainy season in Haiti.

Please take a minute to view the video here.

 

“If this was happening here in America, if this was our families in America, we wouldn’t stand for it,” said Lascher. “Cholera is still present… it has started raining already. We’ve had a period of time where cases started going down during the dry season and so we’ve had time to prepare…to do the right thing… But not enough has happened.”

During last year’s rainy season, the number of new cholera infections in Haiti tripled.  

“It spread so quickly because people don’t have access to basic rights like water, sanitation, hygiene, and health care,” continued Lascher. “It needs to be a comprehensive approach to treating and preventing cholera so that we can make sure that there aren’t 7,000 more deaths this year. We need to make sure we’ve learned from past mistakes.” 

As part of this comprehensive approach, PIH is working with the Haitian government and the Haitian NGO GHESKIO to launch a cholera vaccination campaign that will target 100,000 highly vulnerable people and prove that the two-dose vaccine can be delivered effectively in both a Port-au-Prince slum and an isolated, rural community.

Lascher concluded by saying, “We deserve to do better, Haitians deserve better.”

Since the outbreak began in October 2010, more than 7,000 people have died, and at least 531,000 Haitians – roughly 5 percent of the nation’s population – have become sick.

Lascher was joined on the program by Haitian American blogger Alice Backer and former AP correspondent Jonathan Katz.

Learn more about PIH's cholera efforts in Haiti.

Apr 6, 2012

Response to Cholera in Haiti - April 2012 update

Below is an email from our Senior Health and Policy Advisor in Haiti, Dr. Louise Ivers, sent to Partners In Health supporters on April 3, 2012.  In addition to the brief update on the status of PIH's Haiti Cholera Vaccine Project,  you will see a video highlighting the crucial work of our volunteers, who played a key role in vaccine preparations.

 

Dear Friend,

For a year and a half, I've watched cholera devastate an entire country, wishing, as a doctor, that I could do more to save lives. Just this weekend, the New York Times wrote about the need to do more.

It's a simple bacterial infection, and yet our tools to fight this disease in Haiti simply haven't been enough.

That's why I'm thrilled to introduce you to the newest weapon in our arsenal: the Haiti Cholera Vaccine Project.

Volunteers helped get the vaccine delivery rolling at Partners In Health in Boston by preparing the registration cards -- a crucial part of the project that will ensure each patient gets the required two doses. We made a video of that big day.  http://act.pih.org/phase-one-watch

This vaccine will save lives -- both in the short term and in the long term.

In the short term, it will help us protect the lives of the 50,000 people we vaccinate. In the long term, it will help contribute to ending cholera in Haiti entirely -- by demonstrating that cholera vaccination is both feasible and effective in Haiti.

I'll send more updates as the project continues.

Thank you,

Dr. Louise Ivers
Senior Health and Policy Advisor
Partners In Health

Jan 12, 2012

Build Mirebalais Hospital - Jan. 2012 update

Photo taken by John Chew, courtesy of PIH
Photo taken by John Chew, courtesy of PIH

In Haiti, first phase of construction at Mirebalais Hospital nears completion

For the past 18 months, construction crews have worked tirelessly to build Mirebalais National Teaching Hospital, an impressive 180,000 sq. ft. complex that will soon be home to Haiti’s largest public teaching and referral hospital. Scheduled to open in 2012, the project is the cornerstone of PIH's efforts to help the country rebuild following the devastating 2010 earthquake. At a time when Haiti desperately needs skilled professionals, the facility will provide high-quality education for the next generation of Haitian nurses, medical students, and resident physicians.

Before a massive earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, PIH had been planning to build a new community hospital in Mirebalais, a city just 30 miles north of Port-au-Prince. Then the earthquake struck, leaving most of the health facilities in and around Haiti’s capital in ruins. Responding to an urgent appeal from the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP), PIH quickly scaled up its plans.

Just two years after the earthquake, Mirebalais Hospital is only months away from opening its doors to patients seeking outpatient health services. When complete, the 320-bed hospital will accommodate an estimated 500 ambulatory visits each day and require the services of hundreds Haitians employees — becoming the largest single source of employment in the area.

By the close of 2012, PIH will roll out expanded services like maternal and child health, radiology, CT scans, and surgical care. In early- to mid-2013, special services will begin, including neonatal intensive care and expanded surgical operations. In mid-2013, advanced medical and nursing education and training will begin at the hospital, with Haitian students receiving training in comprehensive and innovative care.

Once the hospital is running at full capacity, it will have over 30 outpatient consultation rooms, six operating rooms, and space to host trainings with over 200 participants. It will offer innovative technology — some of which was previously unavailable in Haiti — including digital radiography, a full-body CT scanner, teleconferencing capabilities, solar panels that will fully power the hospital during the day, on-site waste water treatment, and wall-mounted oxygen for over 60 percent of inpatient beds. The hospital is also designed to withstand earthquakes and high-winds from tropical storms. 

The hospital will be operated in partnership with the national government. Over time, financial responsibility for the hospital will gradually transition from PIH to the government, with the government assuming control of most of the facility by 2021. 

Photo taken by Meredith Eves, courtesy of PIH
Photo taken by Meredith Eves, courtesy of PIH
Photo taken by John Chew, courtesy of PIH
Photo taken by John Chew, courtesy of PIH
 
   

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