An Update on Our Work in Haiti

Updates on the work of Zanmi Lasante, Partners In Health's sister organization in Haiti, as widespread violence and instability continue

Posted on Apr 1, 2024

A health worker in a blue shirt sits in a chair across from a woman holding a baby.
Care continues for those who need it most at Zanmi Lasante's facilities in Haiti. Photo by Mélissa Jeanty.

April 1, 2024

Statement from Dr. Sheila Davis, CEO of Partners In Health, and Dr. Wesler Lambert, Executive Director of Zanmi Lasante, as PIH is known in Haiti.

For four decades we have been working in partnership with the Ministry of Public Health and Population in Haiti to ensure the most vulnerable people in the country have steady access to high-quality health care services—from prenatal check-ups to surgeries —free of charge. Until recently, we have proudly served some 3.3 million people through community to tertiary care each year. That was nowhere near enough, but at least the number was growing. Today, we face a new reality. The number of Haitians able to access health care has dramatically declined - not because the need has changed, but because the environment has changed. As a result our mission to advance health equity is becoming harder by the day. We urgently need the ability to safely transport staff, medications and supplies within and to Haiti.

In the past, we have lived through every imaginable challenge—from prolonged outbreaks of cholera to targeted violence at Zanmi Lasante supported facilities—and we’ve always found ways to keep the doors open, the health care high-quality. But in the past month, the University Hospital in Mirebalais, a national referral hospital, alongside the 16 other hospitals, health centers, and clinics we operate have been cut off. We cannot safely move medicines and supplies from our warehouses to the provinces where we work. Nor can we reach the dozens of containers we have at port. It is not from lack of trying – our teams have explored every possible avenue and gone to heroic lengths to move small quantities of supplies. Yet it is not enough. As a result of these challenges, we have begun rationing care, reducing the number of hours facilities are open and what services we provide. If nothing changes, within weeks our fuel reserves and some essential medications and supplies at University Hospital in Mirebalais will run out, and with it will go our ability to care for the child with dehydration, the adult with septic shock, the mother with a difficult labor, and more. If this happens, innocent patients will die. The risk is unprecedented.

Our motto has been and will always be that we “do whatever it takes.” We are pursuing every possible shipping option—via land, air, and sea, from the Dominican Republic, other parts of Haiti, and Miami. Doctors and nurses continue to work heroic hours, many sleeping at hospitals and not seeing their families for a month at a time. But the violence—and those who allow the violence to continue—has cut off our necessary lifelines. At a time when our patients need us more than ever: many other hospitals have closed, pharmacies have been attacked, and millions face acute hunger. We are trapped, unable to provide people with the care that is their right. We are a Haitian organization, made up of Haitians, working in Haiti, for Haiti. And we are here to stay. But our patients, and we, need help in a way we never have before. 

Support Our Work

Your generous donation today will immediately go towards supporting our dedicated staff in Haiti and the communities we serve.

Give To Haiti

Related Categories
Dr. Paul Farmer sharing a friendly moment with one of his staff.

Paul's Promise

As we mourn the passing of our beloved Dr. Paul Farmer, we also honor his life and legacy.

PIH Founders - Jim Kim, Ophelia Dahl, Paul Farmer

Bending the Arc

More than 30 years ago, a movement began that would change global health forever. Bending the Arc is the story of Partners In Health's origins.