ACTION ALERT: Malaria Net Challenge
The floodwaters from four hurricanes have receded in Haiti, but countless pools of stagnant water still remain—the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and an imminent public health disaster—a massive outbreak of malaria. To prevent this, Partners In Health kicked off the Malaria Net Challenge to raise money to distribute 10,000 bednets to the families in most need. Please consider joining this challenge and helping us buy bednets! Each net only costs $5. Find out more
Heroes in Hinche
In crises like the recent storms, it is the reaction that defines individuals and organizations. Many Zanmi Lasante (PIH's partners in Haiti) staff members sprang into action when the floodwaters came. Two in particular embodied PIH's "whatever it takes" philosophy by commandeering a car, rescuing flood victims, finding supplies, distributing food, bringing order to shelters, and that was just the first day.
Social workers help HIV patients cope with flood destruction
It was 4 in the morning when Ermaze, a social worker in Haiti, received an urgent phone call, telling her that the city of Hinche was flooded. The first thing that ran through her mind was to get up and go rescue Zanmi Lasante's HIV patients. "When arriving, all we could see were the roofs of homes under all of the water," she said. "With water levels reaching our chests, we began searching for all of our HIV patients and their families." Read more.
Recent storms add to tragedy in Haiti
"Working for the past decade in Haiti has required a constant eye to the weather – to the political climate inside Haiti, toward the shifting tides of international politics and global finance, and, of course, a nervous eye to the Atlantic Ocean during hurricane season," says PIH physician Evan Lyon. Read his account of a dire situation made only worse by recent storms.
Bringing emergency relief and a plan for recovery to flooded communities
The aftermath of four severe storms in rapid succession left thousands of Haitians unable to return home in many of the communities that PIH's partners currently work in. The Zanmi Lasante team is currently working overtime to help care for those who lost nearly everything.
"The work has just begun," writes PIH Executive Director Ophelia Dahl
Thanks to the generosity of PIH supporters, mobile clinics are operating, and food and water are being delivered, but the work has just begun, writes Ophelia Dahl in a recent letter. Read more about the what PIH and its partners in Haiti are currently doing, and their plans for the coming months.
Inside Gonaives: A photo essay of the hurricanes' destruction
"Everywhere, people were walking in the flooded streets," says PIH physician Evan Lyon, who recently visited the devastated city of Gonaïves. "Tens of thousands residents remain in the city and outside organized shelters, trying to protect their damaged home and trying to survive." View his photos of the shocking conditions he found there.
Ghost town left behind as floodwaters recede in central Haiti
Gran Plas is empty, swept away by the floods that followed Hurricane Ike. The scope of this un-natural disaster and of the inadequate humanitarian response in the hardest-hit areas in the Artibonite Valley, literally downstream from the Central Plateau, is finally becoming recognized. Estimates of deaths in the past month range from 500 to 1000 and perhaps as many as one million people have been left homeless. Read more
I have never seen anything as painful," writes Paul Farmer from flood-ravaged Haiti
PIH co-founder Paul Farmer recently sent an email to colleagues describing the devastation caused by the recent hurricanes in Haiti after driving through the flooded coastal city of Gonaïves. With more storms on the way, tens of thousands of people have been driven from their homes and thousands more are living on rooftops without any access to food, water or shelter. Read his letter
Hurricanes' one-two punch inundates Haiti: Donations needed to support relief efforts
Torrential rains from Hurricanes Gustav and Hanna swept through Haiti earlier this week, leaving behind dangerous flood waters and devastated communities.
”The situation is very dire and catastrophic and sad and frustrating,” writes Loune Viaud of Zanmi Lasante (ZL), PIH’s partner organization in Haiti. She estimates that around 10,000 people have been displaced due to floodwaters in the Artibonite Valley, where PIH recently expanded operations to six facilities. Read more about this emergency situation, and how you can help.
A call to action
PIH Executive Director Ophelia Dahl wrote a letter to PIH supporters about the dire situation in Haiti. "There is a clear and desperate need both for emergency relief and for long-term assistance to address the vicious cycle of poverty, environmental degradation and disease, which is guaranteed to intensify in the aftermath of this crisis," she writes. Read her letter
Reflections on past hurricane tragedies
PIH co-founder Paul Farmer reflects on poverty, disease, and Hurricanes Katrina and Jeanne. "The great vulnerability to which we expose all those who lack fundamental social and economic rights, including the right to be protected from foreseeable and, indeed, predicted disasters, is a cause worth fighting for," writes Farmer.
[published September 2008]