Clinicians from Socios En Salud (PIH in Peru) line up in protective gear

COVID-19 Clinical Response

COVID-19 continues to spread around the world at an alarming rate, demanding global action to contain the spread and ensure that care is available for the most vulnerable.The World Health Organization (WHO) is urging countries to improve efforts to contain the disease and protect health care workers, and notes that a solution calls for “aggressive preparedness,” all around the world. 

Partners In Health (PIH) knows that COVID-19 will disproportionately affect the most vulnerable and hit countries with weak health systems the hardest. The currently reported case fatality rate cannot be used to predict how this virus will devastate many areas globally where there are not high functioning and resourced health systems that can respond to an aggressive infectious disease, and where the population suffers from conditions such as malnutrition, HIV, and tuberculosis. Mortality is anticipated to be far worse in the places where PIH works, and it is unclear if the current global response accounts for the factors in these settings.

PIH is launching a comprehensive effort to support this response across its network of supported countries around the world to:

  • contain and control the spread of the virus,
  • ensure that patients are provided with dignified care, and
  • demonstrate to the world what aggressive action in vulnerable settings can achieve.

Our Full Response 
Important Update on COVID-19 rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs)

Partners In Health has recently received newly available evaluation evidence regarding the accuracy of COVID-19 RDTs, which were being considered for deployment at PIH supported sites, with an initial order having been placed. Based on such evidence, our technical experts have determined that there is significant uncertainty about the accuracy of a specific product and it therefore would not be advisable to deploy this product. The RDT market landscape is changing day by day with multiple new products coming to market—clinical experience and scientific evidence regarding their use is quickly being generated. We continue to research the market for RDTs of high reliability and accuracy. The implementation of our four-pronged plan to stop COVID-19 goes forward unchanged, with its focus on Point of Care (POC) testing, providing care, assisting local governments, and tracing contacts. We remain committed to an aggressive, comprehensive approach that prevents the pandemic from devastating vulnerable communities.

For more information about our COVID-19 response, please contact Director of Impact, Emily Dally at


Partners In Health Guides

Part I: Testing, Contact Tracing and Community Management of COVID-19 (Updated: 9.24.2020)

Part II: Clinical Management of COVID-19 (Updated: 9.24.2020)

Annex (Updated: 9.24.2020)

Explainer Webinar 

Watch on YouTube

Guides Developed with Partners