The Zika Virus in Haiti

Dr. Louise Ivers

Many questions remain about Zika and its current impact on the Haitian population. Until more answers surface, BWH and Partners In Health(PIH) staff strive to find the best solutions for women, men, and children who may be adversely affected by the virus.

Louise Ivers, MD, MPH, of the BWH Division of Global Health Equity and senior health and policy advisor for PIH, answers questions about the mosquito’s resiliency, efforts to control it in Haiti and how PIH is working to prevent Zika infections and treat those who might be suffering from complications.

Read the Q&A on the PIH blog.

Paul Farmer Appears on “The Colbert Report”

“There is a lot of evidence that would suggest the world will be a safer and more prosperous place if there are not these kind of inequalities, if we address them.”

Dr. Paul Farmer, chief of BWH’s Division of Global Health Equity and co-founder of Partners In Health, received resounding applause from the audience of “The Colbert Report” after making this statement during his guest appearance on the show Dec. 4.

Farmer discussed the reasons why he has dedicated his career and life to serving the poor and the incredible work of Partners In Health in helping tens of millions of people across the globe.

Partners In Health Receives UNITAID Grant to Revolutionize Access to MDR-TB Treatment

This week, Partners In Health announced a new partnership with UNITAIDDoctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), and IRD to revolutionize access to new multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) treatment in 17 countries, especially among the poor.

“We’re grateful for this support from UNITAID, and particularly for their partnership, with which we’re hoping to make diagnosis and treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis more effective and more tolerable for patients, as well as more readily accessible and lower-cost,” says Paul Farmer, MD, PhD, co-founder of Partners In Health and chief of BWH’s Division of Global Health Equity. “UNITAID has given us a way to use the power of markets to serve the poor, driving down the cost of essential commodities and helping to deliver them to the people who need them most.”

Read more about the UNITAID grant that will make this work possible.

North Korea's Other Crisis

KJ Seung
K.J. Seung

“There's a crisis brewing in North Korea that has nothing to do with nuclear weapons or six-party talks. Tuberculosis has long been recognized as one of the biggest public health problems in North Korea, but there is a disturbing new development: much of the TB in North Korea is resistant to regular antibiotics.”

This is the introduction to a compelling new piece in The Atlantic by K.J. Seung, MD, a physician in BWH's Division of Global Health Equity and deputy director for the Partners In Health project in Lesotho, who regularly travels to North Korea.

Read the article to learn why he believes that multi-drug resistant TB is basically a death sentence for patients in North Korea.


PIH Video: Ride Along with a Community Health Representative in Navajo Nation

Partners In Health produced this video that provides a glimpse into the important role of community health representatives as part of the COPE project in Navajo Nation. COPE is a partnership between Indian Health Service, Partners In Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Celebrating Haiti’s New Teaching Hospital

I was honored to speak at the opening of Haiti’s national teaching hospital on April 28. The Haitian flag bears a phrase meaning “strength through unity,” and the Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais – also known as HUM –  is a shining example of the power of unity. Many of our committed staff at BWH have worked tirelessly in Haiti to design, build and outfit the facility, including Dr. David Walton from the Division of Global Health Equity, who played an instrumental role in shepherding HUM from ideas to reality. I admire and commend David as well as the countless others whose collaboration and guidance helped transform a rice field in the Haitian countryside into a world-class teaching hospital.   Continue reading “Celebrating Haiti’s New Teaching Hospital”

Health in Navajo Nation

Yesterday marked the start of Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment’s (COPE) 2013 Symposium: Community Health in Navajo Nation (NN). COPE is a partnership with the Navajo Nation Community Health Representative Outreach Program to improve the lives of those living with chronic diseases in Navajo.

NN Surgeon General, Dr. Gayle Dine Chacon, spoke about the need for community health innovations to better meet the needs of the Navajo people.

The goal of the COPE project is to strengthen the existing Community Health Representative (CHR) Program of the Navajo Nation and other American Indian / Alaska Native (AI/AN) nations with the following aims:

  • To provide CHRs with the training, support, and resources needed to enhance their ability to promote the health of their community members living in Navajo Nation;
  • To improve the health status of high-risk patients with diabetes and other chronic conditions;
  • To increase efforts of prevention and early diagnosis of diabetes and other chronic conditions affecting the Navajo community and other Native American communities.

Above: COPE Director Dr. Sonya Shin from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Mrs. Didi Bertrand Farmer from Partners In Health.

Houses Designed to Attract Physicians to Butaro Hospital


Butaro Hospital, located in the rural Burera district of Rwanda, has grappled with the challenge of how to attract and retain top medical professionals. In response to that challenge, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Partners In Health opened permanent doctors' housing five minutes away from the hospital. The project was the brainchild of BWH donor Daniel Ponton. Read the story in the Architectural Record.