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Posts Tagged ‘Partners In Health’

Dr. Paul Farmer on the Iniquities of Healthcare Funding

February 3, 2015 by

Dr. Paul Farmer wrote on the inequities of healthcare funding in “Who Lives and Who Dies,” in the London Review of Books.

“The people I lived with in the hills of central Haiti had a concise way of putting it: these were ‘stupid deaths’. It was to prevent such deaths that Partners In Health was founded in the mid-1980s, with the aim of providing care for the ailments, trivial or catastrophic, that afflicted the poorest, who were doing most of the stupid dying. PIH would also recruit and train others, whether as community health workers or nurses or doctors or managers, and generate knowledge about ‘healthcare delivery’: what’s the best way to treat Aids or cancer or drug-resistant tuberculosis in a squatter settlement in rural Haiti or a slum in Peru? How might we introduce trauma care, much of it surgical, where none exists? How might we prevent and treat malnutrition, which complicated most of the illnesses we diagnosed in children, without importing cheap food from subsidised US farms (which would further decrease the paltry incomes of local farmers, the parents of the malnourished)? How would we help the people who lived in these places, and had the most at stake, to get trained and qualified?”

Read the rest:


Support the Partners in Health Ebola Response

September 11, 2014 by

An important message from Skoll Awardee Partners in Health:

“The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is a defining global health challenge of our time. The virus has killed more than 2,200 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea as of Sept. 11, and more than 4,000 cases have been confirmed. Tens of thousands of people could be infected as the virus spreads. The outbreak has put an enormous strain on already weak health systems, and international organizations and higher-income countries have been slow to respond.

Partners In Health is leading an effort to combat this outbreak, working alongside two outstanding grassroots organizations—Last Mile Health in Liberia and Wellbody Alliance in Sierra Leone. These groups are already working to train health workers, identify sick patients, and deliver quality care. As the epidemic advances, these groups need support to provide comprehensive prevention, care, and treatment. In coalition with Last Mile Health and Wellbody Alliance, PIH is committed to supporting the delivery of comprehensive health services and establishing Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs) in Grand Gedeh, Liberia, and Kono, Sierra Leone, which will work in concert with those organizations’ existing efforts.

PIH is actively recruiting clinicians, logisticians, and other health system professionals to support the work of Last Mile Health and Wellbody Alliance. We are seeking a large number of short-term volunteers and longer-term positions to help staff the ETUs, as well as help support the community-based work that is needed. read more


Search for Common Ground and Partners in Health in Rwanda: PBS NewsHour Stories

May 30, 2014 by

PBS NewsHour just aired a two-part series on Rwanda: Part One focused on efforts toward reconciliation and featured Search for Common Ground. Part Two focused on advances in national healthcare, including Partners in Health.

A summary of part one: “Twenty years after nearly a million Tutsis were killed the genocide in Rwanda, many Hutus — who were driven out in retribution — are returning to their communities. To facilitate the integration, many small groups are bringing rapprochement between pairs of genocide survivors and perpetrators. Special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro reports on Rwanda’s journey toward healing and forgiveness.”

And part two: “The public health transformation in Rwanda is striking for those with memories of the massacre of nearly one million people 20 years ago. International aid groups were initially wary about getting involved, but Rwanda took ownership of its own development and built a new health care system. Special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro explores how they’ve worked to overcome a shortage of doctors.”

Watch part one above, and part two here:


An Excerpt from Paul Farmer’s New Book

November 6, 2013 by

Partners in Health co-founder Dr. Paul Farmer just published a book, “In the Company of the Poor.” It is full of his conversations and writings with Father Gustavo Gutiérrez, a Peruvian priest and longtime mentor and friend. The book is about their lifelong practice of not only walking with people who are poor, but working to change the conditions that keep them poor.

Here is part of a chapter:

“Reimagining Accompaniment: A Doctor’s Tribute to
Father Gustavo Gutiérrez

In 1971, when Gustavo Gutiérrez published A Theology of Liberation, I was eleven years old and living in small-town Florida. To me, and to my siblings, church was a place one went to fulfill obligations to parents and grandparents: First Communion, Confirmation, high holy days. It meant sitting through homilies—often boring ones, I’m sorry to say, and almost always remote from our experience. Perhaps the priests made too little effort, or felt little need to make the effort, to address people our age; more likely, we made too little effort ourselves. The arcana of theology were of course completely beyond us. Once we had advanced to high school, we saw little reason to continue going to Mass. Our parents, who shared our ambivalence, did not insist.

A few years later, the boundaries of my world had expanded significantly. I was a college student in Durham, North Carolina, and learning at last about the world we inhabited, pushing back the boundaries so that more and more of this very real world was revealed to me. I learned about conflicts taking place in Central America. For me and most of my college peers, those conflicts were remote and hard to understand. But in fact they were so profoundly connected to our world that a journalist reporting the Salvadoran army’s massacre of an entire village in that beleaguered nation would discover that the headstamps on the bullets read Lake City, Missouri. I learned about the resistance to tyranny and violence offered by many members of the church and thought: same church, same world. Not two or three worlds, but one. I stood in front of the Duke Chapel with more than a hundred fellow mourners, gathered in shock to grieve for the murder of Archbishop Romero of San Salvador. He had been cut down in the middle of Mass while intoning the very words, no doubt, that had recently seemed to me so dull and uninspiring.”

Read the rest:


Mother’s Day Inspiration from Skoll Awardees

May 8, 2013 by

Mother’s Day is on Sunday, so we thought it fitting to share parts of some awardee messages:

From Kiva:

There are nearly three billion adults worldwide who lack basic financial services, and most of them are women. Take Clenda from Litein Town in Kenya: she is a 24-year-old mother of two who has been in the farming business for over 6 years. Through one of Kiva’s partners, Juhudi Kilimo, Clenda received a $300 loan to purchase a dairy cow that allows her to sell milk in the local market. She uses the extra income to pay for her children’s education and help increase the overall quality of life for her family.

By lending as little as $25 on Kiva, anyone can help offer opportunity to women worldwide. This Mother’s Day, help spread the word about how, the world’s leading microlending platform, gives us all a chance to make a big difference for women, families and communities. Thank the nurturers in your life by giving them a Kiva Card — $25 to lend to any borrower they choose — to help individuals around the world realize their potential. Visit

From mothers2mothers (video above):

With our double your mommy campaign, you can tell your mother or an important woman in your life how special she is by making a donation to mothers2mothers in her name that will have twice the impact!  Every donation we receive for U.S. Mother’s Day will be doubled with a matching gift by an anonymous donor up to a total of $25,000.   In acknowledgement, we will send her a Mother’s Day e-card with a special video message from some of the inspiring mothers we work with or a card by mail.  It’s easy to double your mommy here. read more


Paul Farmer’s Article on Rwanda’s Public Health Featured in New York Times

February 6, 2013 by

Rwanda has become a public health success story in the years after the 1994 genocide and could provide a model to the rest of Africa.  A New York Times article reports on a British journal BMJ article published by Dr. Paul Farmer who says, “If these gains can be sustained, Rwanda will be the only country in the region on track to meet each of the health-related Millennium Development Goals by 2015.”

The New York Times writes, “Outside experts disagree about why Rwanda has succeeded, with some putting it all down to foreign aid. Dr. Farmer gave credit to the national government, saying it had correctly focused on the leading causes of death and disease and systematically gone after them.”

Read more:


We’re at Sundance!

January 22, 2013 by

Once again, the Skoll Foundation is at the Sundance Film Festival in force!

“Storytelling is critical for achieving change at scale, and nowhere can you find more and better storytellers than at Sundance,” says Sandy Herz, our director of strategic alliances.

Through our Stories of Change partnership, Skoll entrepreneurs Landesa, Injaz, GoodWeave and FairTrade USA are now exploring how narrative storytelling and strategic use of film can help them scale their impact.

Media advisors working with the Skoll awardees at Sundance include Kirsten Johnson, Cori Stern, Patrick Creadon and Mona Eldaief.

So what is the film we’re featuring above? That’s the Skoll-supported “Girl Rising,” which features three Skoll Award recipient organizations: Room to Read, Partners in Health and (in the campaign but not the film) Pratham USA. The film comes out in theaters on March 7. Yesterday, we attended the “Girl Rising” panel and evening event at Sundance.


Sally Osberg’s Op-Ed in the Financial Times’ “This is Africa” Magazine

December 26, 2012 by

“Social entrepreneurs see possibility where others see problems. They are unapologetically ambitious, setting their sights not just on incremental improvements but on systems-level transformation. And to achieve their audacious ends, social entrepreneurs enroll those most vested in that transformation — people oppressed, marginalised, or constrained by an existing reality.”

Those are Skoll Foundation CEO Sally Osberg’s words in This is Africa, a new publication from the Financial Times that “seeks to examine African business and politics in a global context and to make sense of the relationships that Africa is building with the rest of the world.” read more


Cholera in Haiti: Partners in Health on PBS NewsHour

December 5, 2012 by

Last night on PBS NewsHour, Fred de Sam Lazaro reported on the challenges to treat a disease not seen in Haiti for more than 100 years. Partners in Health and its hospital was featured.

Watch above. Here’s an excerpt:

“After Haiti suffered a 7.0 magnitude earthquake, experts believe aid workers accidentally brought cholera to that nation, spreading due to unsanitary conditions. The epidemic has made 600,000 Haitians ill and 7,500 dead.

DR. DAVID WALTON, Partners in Health: Cholera endemic to the region, to the country is the last thing that they needed. Permanent solutions need to be put in play to be able to really stem the tide of this epidemic that is still ongoing.

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: He says cholera’s persistence is a proxy for a much larger rebuilding effort that’s fallen short, one that should have provided far more access to clean water and sanitation.

DR. DAVID WALTON: On a scale of A. through F., it’s a D”.


Hurricane Sandy in Haiti: Partners in Health Expects Cholera Increase

November 2, 2012 by

The Boston Globe just did an article about how Partners in Health was affected by Hurricane Sandy. You will remember that in April, we shared with you how they are helping prevent cholera. An excerpt from the Globe’s new story:

“Partners in Health facilities in Haiti’s Central Plateau escaped most of the flooding experienced by other parts of the country when Hurricane Sandy blew through. But the staff of the Boston-based aid organization and their Haitian partners were preparing this week for an expected bump in cholera cases caused by the storm, even as money for cholera prevention is running low. read more


What Health Care Can Learn from Partners in Health and Health Leads

August 2, 2012 by

Skoll Awardees Paul Farmer of Partners in Health and Rebecca Onie of Health Leads recently co-wrote an article in Stanford Social Innovation Review. Their argument was so compelling that the New York Times “Well” blog wrote about it. An excerpt from the blog:

“The successes of PACT and Health Leads are no secret. But what does remain mysterious as our health care system threatens to implode is why more of us haven’t done the same and rushed to apply the lessons learned and proved elsewhere. read more


PIH Vaccine Success in Haiti; President Clinton Visits Butaro Hospital in Rwanda

July 18, 2012 by

Skoll Awardee Partners in Health (PIH) is busy this week: In Haiti, NPR reports that the cholera vaccine was wildly successful, protecting 90 percent of the target population when skeptics said they would perhaps reach 60 percent.

In Rwanda, today is the opening of the first comprehensive cancer center, and President Bill Clinton was due to be at the opening. Created through Rwanda’s Ministry of Health, Partners In Health, the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation, and Harvard’s Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, the Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence offers oncology diagnostic and treatment services. The center was created through a Clinton Global Initiative commitment.

Learn more:


Sally Osberg Tells All: What’s New, What’s on the Horizon with the Skoll Foundation

June 25, 2012 by

President and CEO Sally Osberg sat down with, and spoke from the heart. She talked about her early days with the foundation (she’s the founding CEO!), the “DNA” of Jeff Skoll, and the impact of several Skoll Awardees. (, Partners in Health, Kiva, Root Capital, GoodWeave, Imazon, Ceres and Gram Vikas to name a few).

She answered questions about the foundation’s new collaborative approach to change, how the term “social entrepreneur” has evolved, and so much more (the story is six Internet pages long!) Here’s an excerpt: read more


Realigning Health Care: Thoughts from Rebecca Onie and Paul Farmer

May 17, 2012 by

Two Skoll Awardees just wrote an excellent piece about the health care system in the U.S.. An excerpt:

“The misalignment between the expansive goal of ‘health’ and a cramped definition of ‘care’ has cost the United States untold lives and treasure. Yet realignment is in reach: Through expanding the scope of health care, the place where it is delivered, and the workforce that provides it, the US health care system could significantly improve health outcomes and reduce inefficiencies.”

Read the rest:


Sally Osberg on Front Page of Huffington Post

April 20, 2012 by

This piece, called “Social Entrepreneurs ‘Refreshingly Uncynical’ — But Not At All Delusional” is featured on the front page of the Huffington Post today. (Sally is above, right, with Eve Ensler at this year’s Skoll World Forum.) Enjoy!

By Sally Osberg

Just as I was coming up for air after our ninth Skoll World Forum, held each spring in the U.K. at Oxford University, David Brooks’ New York Times column on social entrepreneurs hit my desk. Talk about timing!

For starters, Mr. Brooks cites coffee shops, universities and “a certain sort of conference” as fertile ground for bumping into “some of these wonderful young people who are doing good.” Big note to self: be sure to invite him to the Forum next year. Not only would this global community of 900 delegates welcome his savvy perspectives, he’d discover just how many social entrepreneurs are actually doing what he thinks they aren’t.

In his provocative piece, “Sam Spade at Starbucks,” Mr. Brooks attests to the appeal of the “refreshingly uncynical” women and men he considers social entrepreneurs. But they’re missing a big beat, he believes, by shunning government, and by thinking “they can evade politics” in their pursuit of social progress. Our experience at the Skoll Foundation suggests otherwise.

So, with all due respect, allow me to take up Mr. Brooks’ gauntlets.

Contrary to his concern that “you can cram all the nongovernmental organizations you want into a country, but if there is no rule of law… your achievements won’t add up to much,” in fact, many social entrepreneurs are directly and indirectly supporting the rule of law. Landesa, for example, a new addition to the Skoll Foundation portfolio, works with governments in 40 countries to transfer property rights, which ultimately bring food, income, and the opportunity to transcend poverty. In India, for example, a local state government worked with Landesa to educate women about their land rights and help them through the land-application process. Already, 100 women in that small area have their land titles. They are counted among the 105 million families who have received land rights because of Landesa’s government partnerships.

Mr. Brooks is concerned that social entrepreneurs have “little faith in the political process.” But a number of organizations work with a “healthy political process.” Camfed (the Campaign for Female Education) partners with the Zambian government to enforce child protection as a cornerstone of its education plan. (In Africa, it’s common for teachers to pressure their female students to have sex with them). Now, 1,500 schools have these plans in place. The real social progress? Experts agree the best way to bring lasting social benefits to a country is to expand educational and economic opportunities for girls. In total, Camfed has given grants to 60,000 girls to complete secondary school.

While Mr. Brooks thinks young activists are “not as good at thinking nationally and regionally,” Partners in Health (PIH) is doing just that, by partnering with the governments of Haiti and Rwanda to ensure sustainable access to first-class medical care. In Rwanda, the year-old Butaro Hospital is a collaboration between PIH and the Ministry of Health. It provides salary incentives and extensive training to healthcare workers. In Haiti, PIH will soon open Mirebalais Hospital, which former President Bill Clinton recently visited. PIH is also helping the Haitian Ministry of Health develop an immunization program to protect all Haitians against cholera, which has already killed more than 7,000 people. read more


Partners in Health Begins Vaccinations in Haiti

April 19, 2012 by

“If cholera had exploded in the United States like it did in Haiti, everybody would have gotten the vaccine by now.” —Skoll Awardee Paul Farmer, Partners in Health, to the New York Times 

Right now, as documented by the New York Times, PIH is vaccinating 50,000 people against cholera, a waterborne disease. This groundbreaking project will have far-reaching effects: not only will it save 50,000 lives, it will also blaze the trail for a new tradition of vaccination that will save hundreds of thousands more lives in the years to come. Before the rainy season brings the epidemic back in full force, patients must receive two doses, two weeks apart, to receive protection from cholera.

PIH is helping the Haitian Ministry of Health develop and strengthen an immunization program, yet another example of a Skoll Awardee working with government to make real and lasting change possible.

Read more:


Partners in Health Co-Founder Nominated President of World Bank

March 23, 2012 by

Today, President Barack Obama selected Partners in Health co-founder and Dartmouth College President Dr. Jim Yong Kim as the United States’ nominee to be President of the World Bank. If he is elected by the World Bank’s Board of Governors in April, Dr. Kim will lead the institution’s efforts to reduce poverty and generate sustainable, broad-based growth.

Skoll Awardee PIH co-founder Dr. Paul Farmer said,  “I can think of no one more able to help families, communities, and entire nations break out of poverty, which is the stated goal of the World Bank. Having had the good fortune to train with Jim at Harvard, and to see him work in settings from inner-city Boston to the slums of Peru, from Haiti to Rwanda to the prisons of Siberia, I know that for three decades Jim has committed himself to breaking the cycle of poverty and disease.” Read Dr. Farmer’s full statement. Read more in the New York Times and most other media. read more


Former President Clinton Visits Partners in Health

March 20, 2012 by

(Photo: Rebecca E. Rollins, PIH)

Former President Bill Clinton recently visited Partners in Health’s flagship Mirebalais National Teaching Hospital while in Haiti.  President Clinton, Skoll Awardee Dr. Paul Farmer, and leaders in renewable energy toured the 320-bed, state-of-the-art medical center, which – when it opens in mid-2012 – will be powered by a field of solar panels lining the 180,000 sq ft facility’s roof. President Clinton singled out the project as a model of what is possible in Haiti – a country still rebuilding after the 2010 earthquake.

solar panel frames on roof of mirebalais hospitalFrames for the solar panels on the roof of the hospital, courtesy of PIH

After leaving Mirebalais Hospital, the group visited other PIH facilities that also rely on solar energy, including Centre de St Michel in Boucan Carre, the first PIH-supported clinic powered to receive solar panels, an achievement made possible through PIH’s partnership with Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF).

Read more and see more photos:


Two Skoll Awardees Join Forces in Malawi

February 8, 2012 by

It’s always exciting to see two Skoll Awardees team up, and that’s just what Partners in Health and Riders for Health are doing in Malawi. Here, the official announcement.

Two leading social enterprises will show how, by working together, they can create sustainable and more cost-effective development.

Partners In Health (PIH) and Riders for Health will work together to help strengthen health care coverage in the Neno District of Malawi, announced the two organizations today. Riders for Health will manage a portion of PIH’s vehicles on a cost-effective basis, ensuring PIH has available the reliable transport and vehicles it needs to support the Ministry of Health. This partnership will allow PIH to be able to focus its resources on supporting the Neno District’s two hospitals and 11 health centres, providing health care to around 110,000 people over 1,469 square kilometers. read more


One-Third of Skoll Awardees named to Top 100 NGO list

January 26, 2012 by

The Global Journal,  a new publication aimed at opinion leaders and policy makers in the development sector, has just put out its Top 100 Best NGOs in the World, and 31 of them are Skoll Awardees. They started with a list of 1,000, then narrowed it down to 400, then these. Read about their criteria and metrics. Congratulations to all:

Partners in Health, Barefoot College, Water for People, Pratham, APOPO, Ceres, Digital Divide Data, Teach for America, Landesa, Root Capital, Saude Crianca, Population and Community Development Association, Gaias Amizonas, Tostan, Escuela Nueva, Aflatoun, Gram Vikas, Search for Common Ground, Center for Digital Inclusion, One Acre Fund, Kickstart, One World Health (founder Victoria Hale, is a 2005 Skoll social entrepreneur), Room to Read, Free the Children, IDE-India, Friends International, ICTJ, Witness, International Bridges to Justice, Injaz Al-Arab, and Global Footprint Network.


© 2015 Skoll Foundation.