Best Photos from 2022

 PIH’s photo editor shares memorable images from across PIH-supported communities

Posted on Dec 22, 2022

Community Health Worker Annie Jere visits with Milica Steven and her three children at their home in Neno, Malawi, screening the family for health concerns.
Community Health Worker Annie Jere visits Milica Steven and her three children at their home in Neno, Malawi, screening the family for health concerns. Here, Jere does a MUAC test for malnutrition, measuring one child's mid-upper arm circumference. Photo by Thomas Patterson / PIH

As Robert Capa’s famous photography maxim goes: “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” Each year, Partners In Health (PIH) photographers show patients and staff in moments of hardship and celebration. To do so, we have to get close: into the communities where the work happens and into the lives improved by access to care.

Getting close is a hallmark of PIH’s mission of solidarity and accompaniment. Most PIH staff come from the communities they serve, giving back to their friends, neighbors, and families. Here’s just one example: In August, I photographed Community Health Worker Annie Jere as she conducted a home visit near the hospital in a remote village in Neno District, Malawi. She visited Milica Steven and her three children, screening the family for health concerns as the Stevens’ chickens pecked grain off the dusty path. In the above photo, Jere does a MUAC test for malnutrition, measuring one child’s mid-upper arm circumference. After the visit we walked a few houses away back toward the hospital, then Jere stopped, greeting two young girls in colorful attire. They were her daughters. We were right outside their house.

Annie Jere’s own children outside their home up the street. Community Health Worker Annie Jere visits with Milica Steven and her three children at their home in Neno, Malawi, screening the family for health concerns.
Community Health Worker Annie Jere's daughters, outside their house in Neno, Malawi. Photo by Thomas Patterson / PIH

Here are some of the other images that spoke to us this year.

— Thomas Patterson, PIH photo editor

Paul Farmer on rounds at Butaro District Hospital
Dr. Paul Farmer speaks to University of Global Health Equity students while on rounds at Butaro District Hospital in Butaro, Rwanda, in January. Farmer died one month later, and his loss deeply affected PIH and the global health community at large. Photo by Ferdinand Dukundimana / PIH

 

An emotional Dr. Anthony Fauci at Paul Farmer's memorial service in Boston.

Zack DeClerck, production manager at PIH: “Photographing Paul Farmer’s memorial service in Boston was incredibly emotional. Not only had we lost a dear friend, mentor, and visionary, but it was also the first time many of us at PIH had seen one another since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Watching colleagues, family, patients, and longtime PIH supporters embrace each other throughout the day was truly in the spirit of what Paul taught so many of us about accompaniment. I know I wasn’t alone in sharing the lump in my throat while Dr. Anthony Fauci struggled to finish his remarks about Paul’s impact on his life.” Photo by Zack DeClerck / PIH 

A memorial march for Paul Farmer in Mirebalais, Haiti

Mélissa Jeanty, multimedia specialist at Zanmi Lasante, PIH's sister organization in Haiti: “When I got to the town square in Mirebalais, many had already gathered for the march in honor of Paul Farmer. Everyone was quiet. Some people were waiting and others were distributing candles and armbands. The communications team consulted earlier in the week regarding what message to print on these armbands. The [Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais] staff eventually settled for “Polo, nanm ou ap toujou rete,” meaning “[Uncle] Paul, your soul will live on forever”.

These very words came alive throughout the march. Those in attendance, whether from the hospital or from the community, sang and walked in a way that expressed the deep loss and sadness they felt over Paul's passing, but also the deep love and respect they all held for him.

As I walked among them that day, I could hear the grief in their voices. I could truly feel the desire they all shared to honor Paul Farmer's work and legacy in Haiti.” Photo by Mélissa Jeanty / PIH

CEO Sheila Davis plants a tree in honor of Paul Farmer while visiting the University of Global Health Equity in Rwanda in June, 2022.
CEO Dr. Sheila Davis plants a tree in honor of Dr. Paul Farmer while visiting the University of Global Health Equity and other sites in Rwanda in June. Photo by Pacifique Mugemana / PIH

 

A foggy morning in Neno, Malawi
On a surprisingly foggy August morning in Neno District, Malawi, PIH staff members load into a vehicle to drive to Mwanza District Hospital to support the medical oxygen systems. Photo by Thomas Patterson / PIH

 

A pediatric waiting room at Lebakeng Heath Center in Lesotho
Mareekelitsoe Makatile and her baby are among those waiting for pediatric checkups and vaccinations in a crowded waiting room. In an area so devoid of health care access as rural eastern Lesotho, many of these mothers carried their babies while walking for hours to reach PIH-supported Lebakeng Health Center. For PIH Lesotho's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Afom Andom, the journey from the capital to Lebakeng Health Center involves a seven-hour drive over rocky mountain passes, a PIH-supported boat ride over the Senqu River, then a steep hike up the adjoining hill. Photo by Thomas Patterson / PIH

 

Aline Niyizurugero, a patient who received surgical care through Inshuti Mu Buzima's (as PIH is known in Rwanda) Right to Health Care program following a motorcycle accident that left her unable to walk or speak, at 16 years old.
Aline Niyizurugero is a 16-year-old patient who received surgical care through Inshuti Mu Buzima's (as PIH is known in Rwanda) Right to Health Care program following a motorcycle accident that left her temporarily unable to walk or speak. Photo by Pacifique Mugemana / PIH

 

Limbano Castro, with his dogs

Paola Rodriguez, communications coordinator at Compañeros en Salud, as PIH is known in Mexico: “For me, taking pictures means connecting with whoever is on the other side of the lens. Whether it's a staff member, a patient, or even the mountains! It brings me a feeling of gratitude when people share their stories and immortalize a moment and their essence while wearing a big smile. Pictures are also the way we share our reality with the rest of the world.

I met Límbano before because he runs a laundromat where I used to wash my clothes, and I knew it closed for a couple of months because he was ill. I felt joy when he came back and learned that he was a patient at the respiratory disease center where Compañeros En Salud staff work, so we decided to interview him. Although I knew his name and had talked to him briefly before, interviewing him allowed us to connect on a deeper level. He opened up to me with his vulnerability, but also his strength and love, which is something I cherish so much.

At the end of the interview I asked to take his portrait outside of his house, and the dogs he feeds immediately came to him. I could tell they were happy to see him. I wanted to include the dogs in the picture because they were part of what he told me is important to him.” Photo by Paola Rodriguez / PIH.

When the Chapananga Bridge near Chikwawa, the longest bridge in Malawi, collapsed  a couple years after it was built, the distance for people to travel to Chapananga Health Centre greatly increased.
When the Chapananga Bridge near Chikwawa, the longest bridge in Malawi, collapsed a couple years after it was built, the distance for people to travel to PIH-supported Chapananga Health Centre greatly increased. When the Mwanza River is low in the dry season, such as shown here in August, people attempt to cross on foot. That journey is very hazardous in the rainy months. Photo by Thomas Patterson / PIH

 

Johnson Doe and Saturday Wesseh are roommates with chronic diseases who support each other in rural Liberia.
Saturday Wesseh helps Johnson Doe get outside. Doe and Wesseh are roommates with chronic diseases who support each other in rural Liberia. There was a natural connection between them, given their many similarities. They are both in their 50s, fathers, with the same diagnosis: a dangerous infection. They both went through the challenges of buruli ulcers, a tissue-destroying infection that affects various body parts. Upon being discharged from PIH-supported J.J. Dossen Memorial Hospital in Harper, they developed a strong friendship. Photo by Jason Amoo / PIH.

 

Jason Amoo, former communications specialist at PIH Liberia: "Like every interaction with beneficiaries, capturing Saturday and Johnson was very inspiring. Their bond and joy were infectious and thankfully that came across in the pictures. Photographing them required little effort because they naturally had a good relationship and all I had to do was capture the essence of it.

For two strangers who have now become inseparable, it was beautiful to see how they cared for and supported each other to overcome challenges presented by their medical conditions. It also goes to prove that making health care available and accessible to all is a human right and the key to building resilient communities." 

A baby under blue light for jaundice in Rwanda
Babies are checked under blue light for jaundice as Inshuti Mu Buzima and other partners celebrate Nurses Week in May. During the week-long campaign, nurses alongside other health care workers raised awareness for mental health, screened communities for non-communicable diseases, and provided immunizations for babies, among other activities at Kirehe District Hospital in Rwanda. Photo by Pacifique Mugemana / PIH

 

A solar power array in Peru
Socios En Salud, as PIH is known in Peru, works with the United States Agency for International Development to install solar panels that will supply electricity to areas hit hard by COVID-19 in Arequipa, Peru. This solar panel array is atop the Ciudad de Dios health center in Yura, Arequipa. Photo by Diego Diaz Catire / PIH

 

Diego Diaz Catire, communications professional at Socios En Salud: "Being part of the photo team at Socios En Salud has very important value and meaning in my life. It is the opportunity to learn about the reality and stories of many people, Peruvian brothers and sisters, who despite the needs and difficulties of their environment, always convey a strong feeling of hope and strength to get ahead. It's with our committed team, which I am proud of, that we can generate positive changes, strengthen the health system, and provide dignified and quality care for thousands of lives." 

Paul Beaubrun and Régine Chassagne perform in Miami.
In October, Paul Beaubrun and Régine Chassagne perform during a happy weekend in Miami, Fla., as PIH staff and members of the Haitian diaspora gather for a special event — “Injustice Has a Cure: Celebrating a Partnership for the Ages.” Beaubrun and Chassagne both have roots in Haiti, and Chassagne—a multi-instrumentalist in Arcade Fire—serves on PIH's Board of Trustees. Photo by Juan Cabrera for PIH
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Oxygen canisters outside PIH-supported Botsabelo MDR-TB Hospital in Maseru, Lesotho.

Oxygen tanks stand at attention outside PIH-supported Botsabelo MDR-TB Hospital in Maseru, Lesotho. For more than a decade, Partners In Health has worked to ensure facilities have the right staff, stuff, space, systems, and social support to help patients in need of timely and lifesaving oxygen therapy. That work became all the more urgent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Responding to that need, PIH launched Building Reliable Integrated and Next Generation Oxygen Services, or BRING O2, to accelerate access to safe and reliable medical oxygen in Malawi, Rwanda, Peru, Lesotho, and Madagascar. Photo by Thomas Patterson / PIH
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