In the early hours of April 21, arson claimed the life of a beloved colleague Phyzeme Isly, who had worked with PIH's Haitian partner organization Zanmi Lasante (ZL) for nine years as a laboratory technician to provide health care to the people of Haiti. ZL senior midwife Claudine Jean Gilles and her ten-month-old daughter both sustained life-threatening injuries in the fire, and are still battling to survive. Tragically, her three-year-old son, did not survive his injuries.
The arson attack occurred immediately following the publication of the second round legislative elections results on April 20 as violence erupted in the town of Belladere.
"All of us at Partners In Health and Zanmi Lasante are devastated by the tragedy in Belladere," says PIH Executive Director Ophelia Dahl. "We are keeping those lost and wounded by the violence in our thoughts and prayers--Phyzeme, Claudine, and two young children whose regular presence at the hospital had brought much joy and light. We will honor them by pursuing justice and remaining committed to serving the poor."