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A woman holding her child and smiling.
By
Melanie French
Photo Credit
Karin Schermbrucker / Partners in Health

For more than 30 years, Partners In Health (PIH) has taken the stance that “injustice has a cure” and continues to serves as an antidote to despair.

With more than 18,000 staff present in 11 countries, their model uses a comprehensive approach – access to food, transportation, housing, and other key components of healing – to bring the benefits of modern medical science to all. 

PIH collaborates with governments to provide care and strengthen public health systems across several areas of medicine including cancer and chronic disease, child health, emergency response, HIV/AIDS, maternal health, mental health, and tuberculosis. This has set them up with ample experience in confronting outbreaks, like HIV, drug-resistant tuberculosis, Ebola and cholera, which has been vital to their work in the past year. 

When the coronavirus began to spread, they knew how to step in and take action. 

Over the last year, PIH has been committed to continuing their life-saving work in addition to stopping the spread of COVID-19 and advocating for the equitable distribution of vaccines, worldwide. This includes partnering within local governments in the United States to support contact tracing efforts, acting as a key partner in the Massachusetts Contact Tracing Collaborative to trace COVID-19 clusters throughout the state, and providing social support to those affected by COVID-19 shutdowns and positive tests.

When it comes down to it, PIH is advocating for equitable vaccine distribution worldwide, continuing their regular work – despite the complications brought on by COVID-19 – and keeping an eye on what’s next.

Check out three of their recent blog posts demonstrating how they are still fighting for equity in medicine more than a year into the pandemic. 

Advocating for equitable vaccine distribution worldwide
Reality Check: Montgomery Influencers Offer Perspective on COVID-19 Vaccines
Fear and mistrust surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine continues, even as the virus disproportionately afflicts Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people. Public health and government officials nationwide, worried that without broad buy-in, the country won’t attain “herd immunity,” are trying to persuade communities of color to drop their so-called “vaccine skepticism.”

But persuasion is the wrong approach …

Continuing their regular work despite the complications brought on by COVID-19
In Peru, Care For Chronic Diseases Continues Amid COVID-19
Non-communicable diseases kill 41 million people around the world each year. And deaths from these diseases disproportionately occur in low and middle income countries, where governments and health systems have been weakened by centuries of injustice, including colonialism and imperialism. 

Care and accompaniment for patients with chronic diseases is all the more crucial during a pandemic where people are urged to stay home and isolate as much as possible—a harrowing and lonely experience.

Keeping an eye on what’s next
PIH Supports Ebola Preparedness In Sierra Leone, Liberia
Consistently, and not coincidentally, it is the poor who suffer most, and who are last in line to receive the benefits of modern medicine and scientific advancement.

While much has changed in six years, much hasn’t; the health systems in Liberia and Sierra Leone remain fragile, and West Africa remains incredibly vulnerable to this threat of another round of Ebola. We stand at the ready, but the hard truth is: Until the attainable goal of universal health care is achieved for people living in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and all other impoverished countries, we can expect more needless suffering and death at the hands of treatable and preventable diseases.


Want to learn more about PIH’s work? Tune into their upcoming webinars:

Cholera to COVID-19: Delivering vaccines during global crises 
Wednesday, March 24, at 12 p.m. ET

PIH is no stranger to supporting rollouts of lifesaving vaccines in conditions others deem impossible. Join us for a special conversation with Jon Lascher, executive director of PIH Sierra Leone, and Dr. Bailor Barrie, strategic adviser to PIH Sierra Leone, who together have led lifesaving cholera vaccine campaigns in Haiti and Sierra Leone. They will share key lessons from those campaigns and discuss how they apply to PIH’s global COVID-19 vaccine distribution today.

Demanding equity in COVID-19 vaccination
Monday, April 12, at 12 p.m. ET
Join PIH for an important conversation on the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, both in the U.S. and around the world. Their experts, including PIH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joia Mukherjee, will discuss the key steps to ensure equity for marginalized communities, from planning and community engagement, to delivery and follow up. They’ll also share their plans to support vaccine distribution for the communities we serve, globally and in the U.S.


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Melanie French

Melanie French

Melanie French is the director of marketing and communications at Global Impact. In this role, Melanie leads the organization’s marketing efforts for workplace giving and employee engagement. Additionally, she serves as lead writer and editor for the organization, attempting to keep commas in place and capitalization under control. Melanie currently resides in Memphis, Tennessee, with her husband, two kids and scruffy dog. Although she loves to travel and experience new cultures (her first job out of college was as a flight attendant!), Melanie now spends most of her time drinking lukewarm coffee and chasing her toddler – which is why she needs coffee in the first place. And also why it is lukewarm. 

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