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 ...
Mar 8, 2016

PIH Haiti Earthquake Recovery March 2016 Update

(Above) Our team of doctors and nurses collaborate with visiting clinicians to perform pediatric heart surgery at University Hospital in Mirebalais, Haiti.

January 12, 2016 marked the six year anniversary of the Haiti earthquake.  

"Six years after the sadness and the tragedy of the earthquake, the heroic Haitian people continue to heal and to rebuild. Their great courage is a beacon and their remarkable resilience is an inspiration," said Dr. Gary Gottlieb, chief executive officer of Partners In Health. "We are privileged to walk in their shadows and to be guided by their brilliance and their passion. Together, we must create and provide the superb health care services that every Haitian covets and that we all deserve."

With the help of our staff, partners, and supporters, Partners In Health continues to work toward building a healthier Haiti.

PIH has been in Haiti for nearly 30 years, after sprouting from a small rural clinic in Cange and spreading to 12 communities across the Central Plateau and Lower Artibonite—two of the country’s poorest regions.

University Hospital is the latest example of that long-term commitment. The facility is home to a host of specialty services, from surgery and pediatrics to physical therapy and obstetrics and gynecology.

Our work in Haiti isn’t done. We’re busy recruiting and training the next generation of specialists, doctors, and nurses who will no doubt perform their own medical miracles. We’ve taken our approach in Haiti and adapted it in other countries around the world—from Peru to Russia, Rwanda to the Navajo Nation—where we work with local governments to make lasting improvements to health care systems.

On behalf of our patients and colleagues in Haiti, thank you for believing in and supporting our work to build back better—we couldn’t do it without you.  

Feb 19, 2016

Support children in Malawi - February 2016 Update

Nandi Bwanali / Partners In Health
Nandi Bwanali / Partners In Health

Thank you so much for supporting Partners In Health and our efforts to break the cycle of poverty and disease in rural Malawi. Your generosity allows us to provide medical care, social support, and economic assistance to students in Malawi who otherwise have limited ability to access health care and attend school. One such student is Andrea Chatha (pictured above), whose story you can read below.

Andrea is a senior at Chikonde Secondary School in Neno. The last born out of seven children, he grew up being supported by his hardworking mother who sold bananas for a living. His father, whom he has little recollection of, left them when Andrea was very young.

2015 was a year of turmoil for the ever smiling young man as he was hospitalized for many months after being diagnosed with High Grade Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  Nevertheless, through chemotherapy and constant monitoring by the palliative care team in Neno, his condition turned for the better.

Whilst in the hospital, a stable Andrea shared his fears with a nurse who was assigned to him.

 “My mother who had barely been making enough to support us had been left penniless because of my condition. She had to stop her business and take what little she had to help support me through this dire time.”

 Andrea went on to tell the nurse that he was worried that he would no longer be able to go back to school and constantly worried about how he and his siblings would survive after this ordeal.

Partners In Health’s Program for Social and Economic Rights team was informed of Andrea’s situation and determined that he was eligible for school support.

Andrea is now 19, the youngest in his class, with a future filled with hope. Andrea hopes to one day make it to medical school as he enjoys and excels in physics, chemistry and math. He struggles with English grammar but has taken the extra initiative to devote time to practicing with his friends at school and reading more books.

“The hardest part for most people is not the challenge of passing enough classes to go to college, but rather finding the money to support themselves through college. Most people write their secondary school leaving exams and just give up, but it is my hope that I will one day be able to see the doors of the College of Medicine.”

Nandi Bwanali / Partners In Health
Nandi Bwanali / Partners In 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!"

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