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 Health  Haiti Project #4568

Partners In Health Haiti Earthquake Recovery

by Partners In Health (PIH)
Partners In Health Haiti Earthquake Recovery
Partners In Health Haiti Earthquake Recovery
Partners In Health Haiti Earthquake Recovery
Partners In Health Haiti Earthquake Recovery
Partners In Health Haiti Earthquake Recovery
Partners In Health Haiti Earthquake Recovery
Partners In Health Haiti Earthquake Recovery
Partners In Health Haiti Earthquake Recovery
Partners In Health Haiti Earthquake Recovery
Partners In Health Haiti Earthquake Recovery
Partners In Health Haiti Earthquake Recovery
Partners In Health Haiti Earthquake Recovery

Clinicians and staff at Partners In Health see every day how climate change and natural disasters, such as the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, can have direct, devastating impacts on the lives of the most vulnerable around the world.

Severe droughts wither crops, forcing subsistence farmers to worry when, not if, their families will suffer hunger. Increasingly powerful and unpredictable rainy seasons cause flooding and mudslides, which wipe out fragile homes built along hillsides and riverbanks, leaving thousands homeless and scrambling for clean water. And more frequent hurricanes—with their gale-force winds, heavy rains, and tidal surges—multiply the number of hungry and homeless by destroying crops and homes.

At these moments, PIH’s long-term work to strengthen health systems and social support enables global teams to provide immediate relief through food packages, temporary shelters, clean water, and emergency health care at mobile clinics. These efforts help meet residents’ needs in the short-term, but are a small part of what PIH does on a daily basis.

PIH leaders and their government partners focus most of their efforts on building permanent, sustainable solutions that address the root causes of poverty. That work begins with universal access to quality health care, from prenatal appointments for expectant mothers to palliative care for the dying, and from lifesaving surgeries to cancer treatment.

Across 11 countries, PIH is working to build strong public health systems, train the next generation of health care professionals, and inspire global leaders to follow PIH’s example so that more people will benefit when empathy and solidarity join the fruits of modern medicine.


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Ten years after a devastating 7.0 earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Loune Viaud, executive director of Zanmi Lasante--as Partners In Health is known in Haiti, reflects on that fateful day and how she has led her team to respond in the weeks, months, and years that followed.

Dear PIHers,

Ten years ago, Haiti was shaken to its core by a disaster without precedent. The earthquake that struck on the afternoon of January 12, 2010, forever changed the trajectory of a city, a nation, and a global community.

At the time, our fear and grief combined with the frantic action that the moment’s overwhelming urgency required. As the scope of the response unfolded, the despair and pain felt by so many were met by the grace and generosity our shared humanity demanded.

Over the past decade, that initial surge of solidarity has grown into sustained partnerships. In partnership with the government of Haiti and the community of Mirebalais, Partners In Health/Zanmi Lasante has built a modern teaching hospital and launched numerous programs that extend quality health care to countless people every year.

This calamity was not the end of Haiti’s tribulations—there is still so much more to do. With you at our side, our neighbors, patients, and colleagues have rebuilt and restored the country’s foundations—strong, and ready for the decades to come.

We will forever mourn those lost during the earthquake and its aftermath, but their loss has not been in vain. In their name, we will continue the long work of recovery.

I am privileged to work with incredibly dedicated, local and international staff, who save lives every day because of your support. Their passion and your solidarity are potent ingredients for justice.

On this important day of remembrance, from the birthplace of PIH, we are sending you our most heartfelt thanks.


Nan souvni ak nan lespwa (In hope and remembrance),

Loune Viaud

Executive Director - Zanmi Lasante | Partners in Health Haiti


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Photo by Cecille  / Partners In Health
Photo by Cecille / Partners In Health

As Haiti experiences on going civil unrest, Partners In Health is working tirelessly to keep our doors opened for patients. Staff are working long hours, and scrambling to secure fuel for generators. Some have traveled hours by foot and motorcycle, dodging stones and tear gas, as they pass barricades to arrive for shifts. They are doing whatever it takes to take care of patients. We’re able to do this because of your partnership. 

Madeleine was one among thousands of Haitians across the country caught in life-threatening situations, as Haiti continues to be mired in more than one month of protests that have resulted in some 200 people injured and 20 killed. Roadblocks and demonstrations have cut off transportation in and around the capital, as well as across the country, as inflation spikes and Haitians struggle to access gas, food, and clean water. Banks, schools, businesses, and many health care facilities have been closed for weeks.

On a Saturday in late September, the 33-year-old mother fell to the floor while trying to get into bed. Soon she began feeling pains and noticed fluid discharge, interpreting them as the signs of early labor. With growing concern, she called her physician, who informed her that no one was at the clinic to help. Demonstrations and barricades had blocked all traffic.

Madeline and her husband, were informed that University Hospital was still opened. They soon hired a taxi and made the would be 45-minute trip to the University Hospital.  While in route to hospital, the couple would face road blocks and protesters. While explaining the situation of an expecting mother, the couple were allowed to pass through and directed to an unaffected route.  Two hours after leaving their home, the couple reached their destination.

Nursing staff swung into action. Madeleine was suffering from pre-eclampsia, they realized, and needed immediate attention. While they worked to get her blood pressure under control, they prepared her for labor so that, late Sunday evening, she safely delivered two babies before midnight. Two more babies followed in the wee hours of Monday morning.

Two girls arrived at 2.5 and 3.4 pounds, and two boys at 3.6 and 4 pounds. Because the newborns were underweight and had arrived more than two months early, they were placed in incubators to maintain their body temperature and receive constant monitoring in the NICU. While waiting to be transferred, Stevenson provided one of the babies kangaroo care, which allows infants skin-to-skin contact with their caregivers to help maintain body heat and stimulate feeding.

Meanwhile, Madeleine was in critical condition herself. She had lost a good amount of blood and required a transfusion. Hearing that the unrest had calmed, hospital leadership sent an ambulance to the Red Cross in Port-au-Prince that Tuesday to gather lifesaving units of O+ blood. The driver arrived back, safe and sound, and staff immediately provided the new mom with a transfusion.

The family remains in good hands at University Hospital, where they are cared for by a rotating crew of Haitian clinicians who arrive for shifts after overcoming their own obstacles each day. PIH staff form the backbone of a hospital that is trusted and always open, with lights on to receive more patients, like Madeleine and her family, every day.


In Haiti, PIH remains the largest non-profit health care provider, and as such we will continue to work to provide the citizens with quality healthcare, reaching toward the ultimate goal of eliminating deaths and preventable illness. Your support has contributed to the thousands of lives that are impacted everyday through our organization. We thank you!

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Thank you for supporting Partners In Health and our work in Haiti.

Though we’ve made significant progress, Cholera is unfortunately still a part of daily life in Haiti. Years after one of the world’s deadliest outbreaks of Cholera, government and international agencies are still working to stop the spread of the disease. Partners In Health is one of these, thanks to supporters like you.

First introduced by UN peacekeeping forces after the 2010 earthquake that struck Haiti Cholera has had a devastating effect on Haiti. 10,000 people have been killed and countless more have fallen ill. That included mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons as well as infants. What makes Cholera a tough illness to combat is the manner in which it spreads and the conditions in which it thrives. Haiti’s environment provides both.

As a waterborne illness, Cholera is contracted through contaminated drinking water. In the absence of latrines or public sewage systems, the world’s poor often drink from the same river or stream used for defecation — infecting water supplies. This means that developing nations and areas affected by natural disasters are often at risk of Cholera outbreaks. In the case of Haiti, this small country has the unfortunate luck of being both a developing nation and a nation routinely affected by natural disasters.

However, there is still hope for Haiti. The number of cases and deaths per year has dramatically decreased. A part of that is due to donors like you.

Relief came to the people of Haiti in 2012 when large scale vaccination programs were launched to protect the people from the harmful bacteria. PIH was among one of the outbreak’s first responders in Haiti. Within several months, PIH had set up 11 Cholera treatment facilities throughout the country and began treating the sick. These vaccination programs were highly successful in reducing the total number of Cholera cases and defying expectations by successfully protecting 90% of adults and 94% of children.

That was until October 4, 2016, when Hurricane Matthew struck the small island nation. As expected with this water-borne disease, after the hurricane hit there was again an increase in the number of Cholera case and deaths. Thankfully, PIH and other relief agencies were there and ready to help the survivors. PIH directly treated 1,682 patients following the hurricane and worked with the Haitian Ministry of Health to help vaccinate an additional 800,000 Haitians.

In Haiti, PIH remains the largest non-profit health care provider, and as such we will continue to work together with our partners there to protect the citizens with quality healthcare, reaching toward the ultimate goal of eliminating deaths and illness due to Cholera. Your support has contributed to the countless lives that were saved from Cholera. We thank you!

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Photo by Cecille Joan Avila
Photo by Cecille Joan Avila

Six years have passed since University Hospital in Mirebalais opened its doors and began transforming health care for more than one million people across Haiti's Central Plateau. Since March 2013, thousands of patients have had access to specialized care provided by clinicians working with Zanmi Lasante, as Partners In Health is known locally.

University Hospital has also been home to a growing medical education program, which has graduated 89 residents from a variety of specialties, including emergency medicine, surgery, and pediatrics, to add to the growing health care workforce in Haiti.

In the pre-dawn hours, dozens of patients begin arriving at University Hospital’s main entrance to await their turn for high-quality care, at little or no cost. Last year, clinicians conducted nearly 277,000 outpatient visits and admitted close to 6,000 patients, many of whom had traveled hours to be seen by the facility’s top-notch doctors and nurses.

Once patients have registered and had their vitals taken, they sit in one of several waiting rooms for their name to be called. They come for consultations with maternal and mental health, dental services and radiology, oncology and chronic diseases. Those who are admitted may end up in a number of departments, such as labor and delivery, pediatrics, or isolation—should they be diagnosed with an infectious disease, such as multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.

Regardless of why they come, they will receive care within specialties that would otherwise be out of reach for the rural poor across Haiti.

Here is what we have been up to at University Hospital in Haiti:

Over the past six years, Partner’s In Health has worked tirelessly to make University Hospital a beacon of hope in Haiti. For example, University Hospital is home to six state-of-the-art operating rooms, tucked away in the heart of the facility. In 2018 alone, surgeons performed 1,400 lifesaving cesarean sections and 800 other women's health-related procedures, such as hysterectomies.

The operating theater hosts routine surgeries, such as appendectomies and the removal of tumors. It has also hosted teams of international surgeons who, in collaboration with PIH clinicians, have conducted cleft palate repairs and—most impressive of all—the separation of conjoined twins.

So far, 19 surgical residents have entered University Hospital’s medical education program, four of whom formed the first graduating class last fall.

In 2018, Kay Manmito (PIH’s maternal waiting room) housed more than 400 women so that they could receive the lifesaving, dignified care they needed, from blood pressure monitoring to C-sections. These patients were among the 12 women, on average, who delivered each day in the neighboring hospital’s maternity ward. For expectant mothers like Natacha, whose risky pregnancy brought her to the facility, “the care found here is priceless.”

Partner’s In Health has also provided cancer treatment to more than 570 Patients and much more. 

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Organization Information

Partners In Health (PIH)

Location: Boston, MA - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @PIH
Project Leader:
Laura Soucy
Annual Giving Coordinator
Boston, MA United States

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