(Photos courtesy of Partners in Health)
PIH pledged one month after the earthquake to address the immediate needs of victims and work alongside the Haitian government to build and renovate the countryís public health infrastructure, strengthen its public medical education system, and expand PIHís programs for community development and poverty alleviation.
Among the examples of progress made possible through PIHís commitment, according to a news release, include successful partnerships, vision for sustainability, stewardship of donor funds and the following projects:
HŰpital Universitaire de Mirebalais: PIH completed construction of the $17 million, 300-bed national public teaching hospital in 2012 and will open the hospital this month. Located 30 miles north of the capital city of Port-au-Prince, the hospital will provide primary care services to nearly 185,000 people in Mirebalais and central Haiti, and advanced care to patients from Port-au-Prince who receive referrals. The hospital will employ up to 800 Haitian staff and serve as the first university teaching hospital in central Haiti, providing residencies and clinical rotations for Haitiís national nursing and medical schools. In addition, the hospitalís 1,800 solar panels will produce 100% of its energy needs during peak daylight hours and feed surplus energy back into the grid, the first agreement of its kind with Haiti public utility company, Electricite díHaiti.
Oral cholera vaccine: Cholera has killed 7,750 people in Haiti since October 2010, according to the release. In spring 2012, PIH pioneered Haitiís first oral cholera vaccine, delivering vaccines to nearly 100,000 people in partnership with Haitiís Ministry of Health and the nonprofit organization Haitian Study Group on Kaposiís Sarcoma and Opportunistic Infections. Since then, the World Health Organization has called for the creation of a global stockpile of two million doses of the vaccine. The United Nations included the use of the vaccine as part of a $2.2 billion plan to eliminate cholera in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Mental health expansion: PIH responded to the emotional needs of Haitians affected by the earthquake by more than doubling the size of its mental health and psychosocial support team. This work is supported by a recent $1.5 million Grand Challenges Canada grant to improve mental health care in countries affected by disaster and poverty. In 2013, PIH will train community health workers to identify and support people suffering from mental health problems, including depression and post-traumatic stress, and refer them to appropriate medical facilities. A pilot program will incorporate the use of mobile phones by community health workers to diagnose and refer patients. The new program will develop a decentralized model of mental health care to be expanded nationally in Haiti.
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