Following the massive earthquake in Haiti in 2010, Partners In Health swung into immediate actions. With staff, clinics, and a hospital already established Haiti, they were first responders to the tragedy. As the longterm impact of this tragedy became clear, PIH and their partner Haitian organization Zanmi Lasante (ZL) designed and began implementing the Stand With Haiti Fund.
The $125-million plan concentrated on helping the country rebuild medical facilities, treat those injured as quickly as possible, and fight the growing cholera outbreak. PIH pledged to spend all the money received as quickly as possible and, by June 2012, PIH will have used the entirety of that fund, fulfilling the promises made in the weeks after the earthquake.
The accomplishments achieved with the Stand With Haiti Fund included the desperately needed expansion on local healthcare services, with an emphasis on specialties like rehabilitative medicine and mental health that had been weak before the earthquake and were even more desperately needed after it. PIH increased its Haitian staff by more than 30 percent, from 4,400 to nearly 6,000 people, and strengthened the country’s health infrastructure.
Over the past two years, this team of clinicians, nurses, technicians, and community health workers has delivered care to hundreds of patients throughout central Haiti recovering from amputations and debilitating physical conditions, including injuries sustained during the earthquake. The team accommodates 600 inpatient visits and 1,000 outpatient visits annually. In addition, 400 community health workers have been trained to provide services to disabled patients and identify new patients.
Since January 2010, PIH’s mental health and psychosocial support team has provided services to more than 25,000 adults and children in Port-au-Prince and throughout the Central Plateau and Lower Artibonite regions of Haiti. A 64-member team — comprised of psychologists, social workers, and community mental health workers — provides care to people affected by the earthquake and the cholera outbreak.
The new Mirebalais hospital is slated to open this year, providing 320 new beds for patients and unparrelled treatment and teaching opportunities for the next generation of healthcare in Haiti.
But much remains to be done. Working in partnership with Haiti's Ministry of Public Health and Population and the Port-au-Prince-based organization GHESKIO, PIH and Zanmi Lasante are preparing to implement a cholera vaccine demonstration campaign. This project will provide a proven oral cholera vaccine to 100,000 people in Port-au-Prince and in a rural community in the Artibonite region where the epidemic first broke out.
GreaterGood.org has suppported PIH's efforts in Haiti for years, with contributions of more than $486,000 in the past two years. These contributions are made possible by continued support of The Child Health Site, The Hunger Site, and other GreaterGood Network websites as well as direct donations through the Gifts That Give More [tm] program.
Photo of community health worker in Haiti courtesy of PIH.