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 ...
Oct 9, 2014

PIH Cholera Response in Haiti - Oct 2014 Update

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

Photo: Carline, 29, received treatment for cholera at a Partners In Health cholera treatment center in Mirebalais, Haiti, in March.

We thank you for supporting Partners In Health and our work to treat and prevent cholera in Haiti.  Below is an overview of our work since the outbreak began, as reported by Cate Oswald, Senior Program Manager for Parters In Health in Haiti.   Your continued support allows us to address the ongoing needs of patients across Haiti.  Often it is a very small amount of money that is required to save the life of someone infected with cholera.    

Comprehensive Cholera Response in Haiti
Cate Oswald, April 2014

Since cholera was introduced to Haiti in October 2010, it has killed more than 8,500 people, sickened more than 700,000, and become one of the world’s largest epidemics in recent history. To date, Partners In Health (PIH) and our Haitian sister organization Zanmi Lasante (ZL) have treated more than 105,000 cases in the Central Plateau, representing almost one-sixth of total cholera cases in Haiti. PIH/ZL has also worked in partnership with the nonprofit GHESKIO to vaccinate nearly 100,000 people in the first-ever oral cholera vaccine campaign in Haiti.

As it is clear that cholera is in Haiti for the long term, PIH/ZL remains committed to a comprehensive strategy for cholera prevention and treatment. With a main focus on providing high-quality treatment and care, our strategy has incorporated public education; aggressive case finding; oral cholera vaccine implementation; improved access to clean water and proper sanitation; and advocacy of stronger international policies and funding accessibility for cholera treatment and prevention in Haiti.

PIH/ZL is deeply committed to doing whatever it takes to stem the tide of cholera in Haiti. Each day, our community teams distribute chlorine solution so that people can treat their water, and our staff of dedicated doctors, nurses, cooks, cleaners, and infection control specialists work to prevent new infections and deaths from cholera. PIH/ZL maintains a level of preparedness, in the form of clinical staff and treatment supplies, to respond to spikes in cholera cases within our service area and ensure that all new cases are diagnosed and treated. We continue to provide cholera treatment services in the form of acute diarrheal disease units at each of the public hospitals where we work in conjunction with the MSPP.

Truly bringing an end to cholera in Haiti will require a coordinated effort: the government, private sector, and public sector must invest together in a comprehensive response, including long-term improvements in water and sanitation. PIH/ZL is dedicated to continuing advocacy efforts with governments and multilateral organizations to work toward a long-term solution for water security and infrastructure in Haiti, as well as disseminating far and wide the news of our successful efforts to comprehensively combat cholera. Research reporting the resultsof PIH’s cholera vaccination project in Haiti was recently published in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

 Despite the fact that international funding for cholera prevention and treatment has diminished, we anticipate that health facilities will continue to see more cases and more deaths from cholera, particularly in rural areas. PIH/ZL continues to seek dedicated funding to ensure that we are able to maintain our comprehensive approach, prevent unnecessary deaths, and build on the progress Haiti has made in combating the cholera epidemic.

Sep 30, 2014

Support children in Malawi - Sept. 2014 Update

POSER bolsters PIH/APZU’s (PIH’s sister organization in Malawi) clinical efforts by providing social and economic accompaniment to families and individuals in the greatest need. To ensure our efforts are integrated with broader development goals, POSER, like all of APZU’s departments, works closely with various government ministries. We’ve partnered with the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology to equip students with necessary school supplies.

With your support, children like Esther continue to benefit from the program, gaining access to essential resources and materials for attending school.

Esther, a seventeen-year-old student in Form 2 at Chikondi Secondary School, lives with her father and mother and 6 siblings in Helani village, 2 km from Neno boma in rural southwestern Malawi. Five of her 6 other siblings are girls as well and her parents, who farm maize, are both HIV-positive. For several years, the family members have been beneficiaries of the Program on Social and Economic Rights at AZPU. Types of support range from housing, cash transfer, and psycho-social to school fee payment for older students like Esther and school material provision for younger primary school students like her sisters.

Esther, whose favorite subjects are English, Mathematics, and Physical Sciences, says “had it been without POSER, I would not be in school now. Before I started getting support from POSER (towards the end of primary school in Standard 8), I would absent myself because I had no materials.” She goes on to say that “my vision is to complete secondary school and if I do not make it into college, I would like to work within POSER, to identify other needy people in the community… I am from the village, so I know how people are struggling I would like to be on the team bringing interventions to the community.”

Aug 19, 2014

PIH Haiti Earthquake Recovery - Aug 2014 Update

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

A Focus on Mental Health

Following the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, demand for mental health services spiked as millions coped with catastrophic loss. More broadly, the World Health Organization estimates that by 2030, depression alone will be the leading cause of disability around the world. With partners like you to thank, PIH clinicians have provided more than 3,500 patients in Haiti with the mental health services they need. And around the world, we’re working to deliver this high-quality care to the poor, vulnerable people who often need it most.

One person who has benefited from this work is Paul.  When he was 20 years old, he began hearing voices—and soon, he came to believe demons were persecuting him. Eventually, Mainardi’s family took him to the PIH-supported hospital in Lascahobas, Haiti, where he began psychotherapy and received medication for psychosis. He soon realized his  problems were medical—and received the health care that helped him to manage his symptoms and secure a happy, healthy life. 

Paul was so moved by his experience that he wanted to share it with others and prevent the harm that can come from not receiving quality care. So he started a radio station in his home. He transmits messages over the airwaves about mental disorders as a treatable condition, and urges people to seek care from the mental health team at Partners In Health.

“In life, anything is possible,” he begins in one radio spot, in which he describes the range of clinical mental health services available in the community—community health workers, nurses, social workers, psychologists, generalist physicians, and, if needed, a psychiatrist.   

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