Haiti is often defined by what it lacks: a stable economy, high employment, solid infrastructure, and access to quality food, clean water, and universal health care.
For nearly three decades, Partners In Health has worked to reverse that definition. Our program in Haiti, known locally as Zanmi Lasante, is our oldest and most replicated. We operate clinics and hospitals at 12 sites across the Central Plateau and the lower Artibonite, two of the country's poorest regions.
Today we are the largest nongovernment health care provider in Haiti, serving an area of 4.5 million people with a staff of more than 5,700. Among our successes so far, we’ve recorded more than 1.6 million patient visits, provided educational assistance to 9,400 children, delivered prenatal care to 30,000 pregnant women, and started 1,700 patients on treatment for tuberculosis.
We opened University Hospital in Mirebalais, a 200,000-square foot, 300-bed teaching hospital that offers a level of care never before available at a public facility in Haiti. At a time when the country desperately needs skilled professionals, we are providing high-quality education for the next generation of nurses, medical students, and residents.
Since the January 2010 earthquake, 744,000 people across Haiti have become sick from cholera and nearly 9,000 have died. In response, we built and staffed treatment centers and launched a large-scale community health intervention so that 20,000 patients received treatment for cholera. In partnership with the government and a nongovernmental organization, we also conducted the country’s first cholera vaccination campaign, which reached nearly 100,000 vulnerable people.
We pioneered the use of community health workers, or accompagnateurs, to deliver quality health care to people living with chronic diseases, such as HIV and tuberculosis. In 1998, we launched the world’s first program to provide free, comprehensive HIV care and treatment in an impoverished setting. Since then, 11,900 HIV-positive patients have started antiretroviral treatment. Our HIV Equity Initiative is now a global model for the treatment of complex diseases in community settings.
To truly treat someone living with HIV, tuberculosis, or any number of other diseases, it’s vital to address some of the root causes, most of which are related to poverty. That’s why we support dozens of schools, hundreds of farms, and housing and water projects throughout the region—to encourage education, economic development, and proper sanitation.