Partners in Health Releases 2010 Annual Report

  • Posted on: 19 November 2010
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Partners in Health (PIH) is one of Haiti’s most important health oriented non governmental organizations, with a model based more on solidarity and human rights than on charity.  In addition to its development activities, PIH has at times been called on to be a humanitarian responder such as during both Gonaives floods and most recently the earthquake.  PIH also operates in Rwanda, Burundi, Lesotho, Russia, and numerous other countries.  Below are highlights from the PIH 2010 Annual Report, which include construction of the largest public hospital outside of Port au Prince, in the city of Mirebalais.


Provided emergency care for earthquake victims: In the first hours after the earthquake, Zanmi Lasante took immediate action to provide emergency medical care to earthquake victims both in Port-au-Prince and at our facilities in the Central Plateau and Lower Artibonite. ZL medical and engineering staff arrived at the badly damaged general hospital in Port-au-Prince just after the quake, where they helped restore electricity, deployed volunteer surgical teams and urgently needed supplies, and worked with partners to get 12 operating rooms up and running around the clock. As thousands of injured people fled the ruined capital, ZL opened up new emergency wards and brought in volunteer orthopedic teams to help perform emergency surgeries at four of our largest facilities in central Haiti. In the first four weeks after the earthquake, these facilities delivered life-saving medical care to 2,961 patients with earthquake-related injuries.


Provided comprehensive primary care for displaced communities: Just two weeks after the earthquake, ZL set up health clinics to serve over 100,000 displaced people living in four spontaneous settlement camps around Port-au-Prince. ZL's clinics provide comprehensive primary health care and social support services — including maternal and child health, reproductive care, HIV and TB testing, mental health care, and malnutrition treatment — to roughly 10,000 people each week. Each clinic is staffed by a team of Haitian physicians, nurses, psychologists, pharmacists, and lab technicians. ZL also trained and hired local residents to serve as community health workers at each location, improving outreach into the settlements and providing jobs and income.


Strengthened specialized clinical services to meet the needs of earthquake survivors: Many of the more than 300,000 people wounded by the earthquake suffered crush wounds, compound fractures, spinal injuries and other severe injuries that will require ongoing and specialized rehabilitation. Tens of thousands more were scarred emotionally by the loss of family members and friends, homes and livelihoods. To meet their needs, ZL more than doubled the size of our rehabilitative medicine and mental health teams. By the end of June, the physical therapy team had distributed 400 wheelchairs and was providing care to 50 people with amputations. The mental health and psychosocial support team had offered more than 4,200 support services in spontaneous settlements, including psycho-education, counseling, and individual and group therapy.


Broke ground for a new national teaching hospital: In partnership with the Haitian Ministry of Health, PIH/ZL is building a world-class, 320-bed teaching hospital in Mirebalais. The new hospital will train the next generation of Haitian doctors, nurses, and lab technicians, equipping them to take on the challenges of rebuilding and strengthening the Haitian health care system. When its doors open in late 2011, the Mirebalais hospital will be Haiti's largest public hospital outside Port-au-Prince. It will house clinical facilities not currently available in Haiti, including an intensive care unit and six operating rooms, and will contribute to the national goal of decentralizing services, including both clinical care and education for health professionals.


Took action to prevent and treat cervical cancer: ZL partnered with the Ministry of Health (MOH) to pilot the country's first vaccination project for human papillomavirus - the primary cause of cervical cancer, which is one of the leading causes of female deaths in Haiti. Despite disruption from the earthquake, thousands of girls received each of the three doses required for the vaccine to be effective. ZL is also incorporating cervical cancer screenings into routine checkups, ensuring that cases can be diagnosed and treated at an early stage. And ZL established a partnership with the Oncological Treatment Center in the Dominican Republic, allowing patients with advanced cervical cancer access to treatment not available in Haiti.


Expanded access to HIV/AIDS antiretroviral therapy (ART) medications: ZL expanded services to 800 HIV-positive patients at a Ministry of Health health center in Verrettes, a town two hours north of Port-au-Prince. With this expansion, ZL is now providing ART to over 5,600 patients across our catchment area and monitoring an additional 16,374, an increase of almost 20 percent. In order to meet patient needs, ZL trained and hired local accompagnateurs, or community health workers, to offer emotional and social support to HIV patients, while helping them adhere to their ART regimens.


Improved surgical capacity and maternal health infrastructure: ZL opened a new operating room at the hospital in Petite Riviere de l'Artibonite, allowing staff to perform needed gynecological surgeries. Additionally, the Sante Fanm (women's health) clinic in Lascahobas renovated its facilities, adding a full operating suite with six recovery beds. This renovation allowed ninety-two Cesarean sections to be performed for women with high-risk pregnancies. Infrastructure projects like these improve maternal health care and offer quality medical options to Haiti's poorest women.


Improved infrastructure to increase access to care: ZL completed two major infrastructure projects in 2010 that will make the health center in Boucan Carre more accessible and more sustainable. With help from Digicel (the largest telecommunications provider in the Caribbean), Haiti's Ministry of Public Works, the UN, and the Boucan Carre community, a bridge was finally constructed across the Fonlanfe (Hell's Deep), a river that flooded frequently, making it impossible for patients to get medical care in an emergency. The health center in Boucan Carre also has a new and reliable source of electricity, thanks to a solar-power system provided by a partnership with Good Energies and the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF). In the first month after it was installed, the hospital reduced its use of diesel fuel from 11 barrels to four.


Trained and equipped farmers to improve production and food security: To meet the immediate needs after the earthquake, Zanmi Agrikol - ZL's agricultural program - planted and harvested an extra crop of fast-growing corn to alleviate hunger among displaced families and trained 1,000 vulnerable families in innovative and effective agricultural techniques. Additionally, ZA is employing 100 new farmers to increase production of our ready-to-use therapeutic food, Nourimanba, which will be given to 7,500 children suffering from acute malnutrition over the next year.

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.