Partners in Health – Description, History, Mission Research Essay

Description and history

Partners In Health (PIH) is a healthcare organization that is based in Boston, Massachusetts whose main purpose is to provide affordable health care services to poor people (Partners In Health, 2011). In essence, PIH is a non-profit organization that is affiliated to Harvard. It works with Brigham Women’s Hospital and Harvard University’s School of Public Health (Partners In Health, 2011). PIH was founded in the year 1987 by Dr. Paul Farmer, Thomas J. White, Ophelia Dahl and Todd McCormack (Partners In Health, 2011). In the same year, the four founders spearheaded the start of its service delivery in Haiti (Kidder, 2004). Today, Partners In Health provides services across the world and it mainly delivers healthcare services to the poor people from both developing and underdeveloped countries.

PIH was established after Ophelia Dahl and Paul Farmer aided in the establishment of a healthcare project that was community-based in Haiti at a place called Cange (Partners In Health, 2010). At the beginning, its main focus was treating patients infected with HIV/AIDS in Haiti only but with time it expanded its services to other parts of the world (Kidder, 2004).


Partners in Health Organization’s mission is to provide alternative health care options that are geared towards prevention of diseases before they afflict the community. Such services deviate greatly from the conventional methods of treating the sick. Its service delivery model is based on the belief that health is a vital human right and it should therefore be made available to all. PIH has made it a priority to provide quality healthcare services to the underprivileged through establishment of long-term beneficial partnerships with other local organizations that serve the same purpose of providing preferential health care services to the poor (Partners In Health, 2011). In addition, PIH aims at improving the availability of convenient healthcare services information and its subsequent use (Kidder, 2004). Apart from this, PIH is also devoted to providing clean water, food, housing, and education to the sick in poor societies. Within the organization (PIH), a well-established department is extensively involved in advocating for human rights. This particular department fights for the rights of the poor people who make the majority of the population, which has been deprived human rights (Partners In Health, 2011).

Programs offered

According to Partners In Health (2010), the main programs that are offered by PIH include healthcare services, education to the poor, and provision of water, food and accommodation. In terms of the healthcare services provided, PIH treats diseases such as Malaria, HIV/AIDS, and Tuberculosis. Poor people benefit greatly from these services because treatment for such diseases is very expensive. Mainly, PIH is involved in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDs by providing Anti-retroviral drugs to both the inflicted and pregnant mothers. This helps in lowering the risk of HIV/AIDS transmission especially to the unborn children.

In every region where it has established a health care center, PIH also offers education by recruiting and training community members. This is evident from the proportion of the local workers in relation to foreign PIH employees. Out of the 15,000 workers, less than 150 are Americans (Partners In Health, 2011). Indeed, majority of PIH workers are mostly locals from the communities in which the organization offers its services. PIH also makes available healthcare services information to the people and it trains them how to use such information effectively in order to improve their lives (Partners In Helth, 2011).

Lastly, PIH also offers food and clean water to the community members. Through effective management, PIH ensures the provision of clean water and nutritious food. It also provides accommodation to the community members by building affordable houses for the poor people who cannot afford decent housing facilities (Partners In Health, 2011. In order to sustain this project, PIH has established self-help projects for community members in almost every region.

Funding source

PIH mostly receives funds from well-wishers. Mainly, donors include individuals and other non-profit charitable organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) among others (Partners In Health, 2010). The Institute for Health and Social Justice (IHSJ) is a special branch of PIH whose responsibility is to encourage financial stable countries like the US and other G8 countries to support the program (Partners In Health, 2011. Through such funding, PIH is able to provide quality healthcare services to the poor and hence eradicate poverty (Partners In Health, 2010). The Presidents Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFTAM) are two chief organizations that provide funds to PIH (Chronicle of philanthropy, 2011). In addition, funding is obtained from government agencies that are concerned with provision of healthcare services. Some funding is also obtained from certain foundations that are spearheaded by well-wishers. In recent years, the number of individual well-wishers has been on the rise and the level of funding has also increased. In fact, more and more people are willing to support this organization.

Target population

As already mentioned PIH targets the poor population in most underdeveloped and developing countries across the world. It mainly focuses in providing services in Haiti and Africa. Its focus is to provide quality services to those individuals who cannot afford proper medical services, clean water, and food. The majority of these people include the sick and the poor. PIH also extends its services to those who cannot afford decent housing facilities. As such, PIH accommodates community members by building houses for them. Its services are mainly focused on empowering the poor in the society because they have no means to support themselves and their families. Because of widespread poverty, PIH has also established community-based projects that are aimed at helping the poor people in the community to earn a living (Kidder, 2004).

Reference List

Chronicle of Philanthropy. (2011). Haiti earthquake fund raising, one year later. Web.

Kidder, T. (2004). Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World. New York: Random House

Partners In Health. (2010). Annual Report 2010: Malawi. Web.

Partners In Health. (2011). PIH-Russia. Web.

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