Health: The Hop of Haiti
MY WORK IN HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE HAS TAKEN ME TO 30 countries on five continentsover the last decade. At no time have I felt more vital than in serving at Partners In Health (PIH), and seldom more needed than in places like Haiti. In the Haitian people, as well as in every other country that PIH serves, we find an incredible courage and capacity to survive. It is with the world’s poor, and other community-based organizations such as Sócios En Salud (Peru) and Apoyo A Mujeres and Guatemalan Refugee Project (Mexico), that Partners In Health struggles against the forces of poverty and, in doing so, we strengthen ourselves. Serving beside these incredible human beings also teaches to blend good medicine and social justice to fight economic and political structures which create their poverty- the true cause of most healthcare challenges in the developing world. We need to make health a right, whether we achieve this through health surveillance, clinics, laboratories, water wells, sanitation projects, education, or a tuberculosis prevention project, it’s about people, not statistics. Haiti does not allow you to insulate yourself from the truth that we all bleed and die the same.
Many ask us if the struggle is a losing battle, if it’s worth it. Just ask the mother whose child survived cholera for the cost of your cappuccino or the father who just learned that using clean water from the new community well means his family will avoid many sicknesses which kill millions every year. Or look into the faces of the children staring out at you from these pages who now have a future-and judge for yourself.
Mark Mosely is Director of Program Services for Partners In Health.
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