When Hurricane Matthew began lashing Haiti’s southwest corner last October, we — like many of you — knew the devastation would be profound. And indeed it was: 1,000 lives lost, 15,000 people displaced, and a sharp spike in the number of people needing health care — including those suffering from cholera.
Because of our long history in the country, we could respond immediately, partnering with local and national Haitian officials to support Les Cayes’ Immaculate Conception Hospital, the sole public facility for that region’s 1.5 million people. We repaired the roof and other structures damaged by the storm, purchased a generator that provides electricity 20 hours a day, and installed a chlorine machine that helps decontaminate and maintain sanitation in wards.
We also supported a nearby cholera treatment center by providing medications and supplies. Perhaps most significantly, we helped Haiti’s Ministry of Health in its vaccination campaign against cholera. In November, 729,000 people received a vaccination — which means mothers, fathers, and children are safe from a diarrheal disease that can kill within 24 hours.
Partners In Health isn’t a disaster relief organization by conventional standards. But to most of our patients, we are that and more.
When a mother doesn’t have enough food for her malnourished child, that’s an emergency. When there is no doctor to treat a father with HIV, that’s an emergency. And when there are no medicines to fight a teenager’s cancerous tumor, that’s an emergency.
The disasters we see are generational, and that’s why your partnership is so vital. With your support this year, we’ve been able to continue solving complex, longstanding health challenges in ways that improve lives and communities.
We’re using new tools, for example, to battle an often deadly strain of tuberculosis. As collaborators in a project called endTB, we’re bringing the first new tuberculosis drugs developed in 50 years to patients in 14 countries — this year in Peru, Lesotho, and Kazakhstan.
We also began a new partnership with the Sicangu Lakota Nation, applying what we’ve learned in the Navajo Nation to help strengthen the health care system of this 27,000-member tribe in southern South Dakota.
Your help enables us to go where we’re needed. Together, we’re showing how comprehensive, sustainable health systems can transform lives all over the world.
See Partners In Health's full 2016 Annual Report.