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 ...
Feb 12, 2016

PIH Cholera Response in Haiti - Feb. 2015 Update

Photo by Calixte Wilsonn/Partners In Health
Photo by Calixte Wilsonn/Partners In Health

Thank you so much for your generous support of Partners In Health and Zanmi Lasante’s efforts to treat and prevent cholera in Haiti.

Cholera continues to plague Haiti, particularly at the border shared with the Dominican Republic. Political tensions and a consequent migrant crisis have resulted in makeshift camps throughout the region, populated by thousands of Haitian migrants who fled the Dominican Republic among threats of violence and deportation. These camps are overcrowded and lack adequate sanitation – two conditions that have allowed cholera to spread and, according to a December 2015 New York Times report, infect more than 100 people.

PIH and ZL are working to treat cholera within the borderland. In the below excerpt from an article on PIH’s website, Dr. Alexandre Widner (pictured above, left), PIH’s border health activities coordinator in Haiti, comments on this political and medical crisis.

"Despite many signs of brotherhood between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, which share the island of Hispaniola, the binational relationship is worsening each day due to a high peak of migratory tension. According to various sources, more than 500,000 Haitians live in the Dominican Republic, more than 75 percent of whom lack identifying documents (a passport or identity card), which leads to constant marginalization, stigmatization, and discrimination—including torture by some authorities along the border. To make matters worse, on September 23, 2013, the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Tribunal published Law TC 168-13 with a retroactive clause that eliminates the citizenship of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent who have lived in the country since 1929.

Despite the fact that mass deportation would expand the humanitarian crisis in Haiti on top of the impact of the major 2010 earthquake, the Dominican migration office started in August the expulsion of thousands of Haitian migrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent (who are now stateless) out of profound xenophobia. Since then it’s estimated that more than 65,000 people were deported or forced to leave the country, causing an alarming situation at several unofficial and official border points, including Ouanaminthe, Belladère, Malpasse, and Anse a Pitres. In Anse a Pitres, the repatriated and stateless live in open-air camps at high risk of extreme poverty, child malnutrition, juvenile delinquency, and an increase in death due to cholera, malnutrition, and malaria—among other diseases.

Clinicians are providing care to patients primarily for infectious diseases like HIV, tuberculosis, and cholera and for children under 5 suffering from moderate or severe malnutrition. The number of hospital births has increased considerably thanks to a dynamic collaboration between Zanmi Lasante and the Ministry of Health in these remote communities.

While we recognize the right of the Dominican Republic as a sovereign nation to pass laws or create fair and inclusive immigration policies within its territory, we demand justice for the flagrant violation of human rights executed by a brother country towards thousands of stateless Dominican brothers and sisters. Together we shout: “No to violence, no to racism!”

Long live solidarity between the people!"

Links:

Dec 18, 2015

PIH Ebola Response December 2015 Update

Jon Lascher/Partners In Health
Jon Lascher/Partners In Health

Above: PIH co-founder Dr. Paul Farmer and Dr. AP Koroma discuss maternal health in Sierra Leone on April 6, 2015. Koroma is the medical superintendent at Princess Christian Maternity Hospital in Freetown.

Thank you so much for supporting Partners In Health and our work to fight Ebola and strengthen the already-weak health systems it destroyed in West Africa. Foreign Policy recently published an article about Ebola’s devastating, long-term toll on maternal and child health in Sierra Leone. We're happy to share an excerpt of this story that highlights the importance of PIH's contuinued commitment to Sierra Leone, and we encourage you to read the full article by clicking the link below.

 

The deadly virus that motivated billions of dollars in international aid has killed nearly 4,000 people in Sierra Leone. (Total infections in the country as of Nov. 22 were 14,122.) The number of children under age 5 who die each year from other causes is 10 times that.

Yet there are signs that the two trends are dangerously intertwining — that the ravaging toll Ebola has taken on Sierra Leone’s health-care system may mean even more mothers and children will die in years to come.

As Ebola crowded out other health concerns in 2014, the country’s already tremulous health infrastructure fell apart. “Sierra Leone is still struggling to emerge from the ravages of a devastating war,” says Anders Nordstrom, representative to Sierra Leone from the World Health Organization (WHO). “The Ebola outbreak has added strain to an already fragile system.”

In November 2014, six months after the country’s first Ebola cases were documented, the WHO reported that “few patients have access to healthcare facilities, with many facilities closed.” Many health workers died or quit out of fear. Attendance at clinics dropped by as much as 90 percent, the WHO report found. Frightened parents kept their children home with life-threatening diseases. Vaccination programs that were only just starting to effectively combat other killers, such as measles and Lassa fever, were decimated. As a result, local doctors and international NGOs, including Care USA, estimate that for each person Ebola has killed through direct infection, more than one Sierra Leonean will perish from the secondary effects of the crisis. 

Read the full article

Links:

Dec 10, 2015

University Hospital in Haiti December 2015 Update

Jean Joel Saint Hubert, OB-GYN fellow
Jean Joel Saint Hubert, OB-GYN fellow

Thank you so much for supporting Partners In Health and University Hospital in Mirebalais, Haiti. We are excited to share with you a profile of one of University Hospital's four new OB-GYN residents. We encourage you to click the link at the bottom of the page to read about the rest of the residents and the hospital's growing program in obstetrics and gynecology.

Name: Jean Joel Saint Hubert

Hometown: Aquin

Age: 28

Did you always know you were going to be a doctor?

Yes, I knew since I was 16 years old. My aunt was a midwife and was always delivering babies. There was a time when she was by herself, her children weren’t there, and she called me to help with a birth. There were two people in labor, and she told me to stay in the room, watch the patient, and call her when I saw the baby’s head. I saw the head and called her, but she couldn’t come because she was with the other patient. 

So I put on gloves and held the baby’s head as the baby came out. The only thing I couldn’t do was cut the cord. Ever since then, everyone—even my friends—have called me ti doktè, which is Kreyol for “Little Doctor.” 

How do you like the residency program?

After the construction of the hospital, I always went and looked at PIH’s website. I saw information about the hospital and decided to go to Mirebalais because they have many programs that train Haitian doctors. I attended an orientation that detailed [PIH sister organization] Zanmi Lasante’s story, and physicians talked about how we have to consider patients and give them attention. I like Zanmi Lasante’s philosophy; I’m not just a doctor, I connect with my patients.

Links:

 
   

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