Partners in Health (PIH), is a global health nonprofit that has drastically improved the health infrastructure and capabilities in Haiti. Since the earthquake in 2010, PIH has continued to report and invest in Haiti to rebuild its infrastructure. In collaboration with Haitian doctors, PIH helps initiate more training opportunities for Haitian doctors in order to make healthcare services more sustainable. Their bottom-up approach has been incredibly successful and they have increased access to medical care to many civilians living in the rural plateau region of Haiti.
After the earthquake in January 2010, PIH launched many new programs to meet the needs of all Haitian people. When cholera was first recorded in October 2010, PIH focused its efforts to improve sanitation and offer rehydration and medication for those affected by cholera.
PIH is in the midst of launching the Cholera Vaccination Program, in which they will offer vaccines to rural villages. They are beginning with a pilot project and offering the vaccine to 50,000 people living in a remote, rural valley. Critics of the project are uncertain whether the vaccine will be effective in a rural village because they do not think the people will remain faithful to the necessary medical steps. However, in accordance to their mission, PIH does not believe that any person should be denied available medical care because they are too poor. Through this vaccination program, they will be “proving to the world that we can treat sickness in poor places with the same tools we’d use to fight the disease in our own country.” Most importantly, the program will provide Haitians with the necessary medicine to lead productive and healthy lives.
To publicize the vaccination program, Dr. Paul Farmer released an urgent message on February 23, 2012 to raise awareness of the potential devastation that the rainy season, which begins in April, will have on the cholera epidemic. PIH launched a pledge to support the vaccine, which people can access on their website. PIH also includes a number of videos which document the current situation in Haiti related to the cholera epidemic. To gain the most pertinent and up-to-date knowledge on the cholera outbreak in Haiti, one should visit PIH’s website, blog, and/or social media site, which are constantly updated to help spread awareness on this health inequity.
Examples of PIH’s Twitter site: