U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Visits Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais

American Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Brian Shukan and members of the U.S Government (USG) health team visited Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais (HUM), a state-of-the art 300-bed hospital facility operated by USG collaborator Partners in Health/Zanmi Lasante (PIH/ZL).  HUM opened in 2013 and was built through the combined efforts of the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) and PIH/ZL. The USG, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has partnered with PIH/ZL for over ten years to provide innovative and life-saving care and treatment to thousands of patients throughout central Haiti.

Chargé Shukan was greeted at the hospital by Elizabeth Campa, the Health and Policy Advisor for PIH/ZL, who led the tour of HUM’s soon-to-be inaugurated reference laboratory facility.  The CDC is supporting PIH/ZL to procure new equipment for the laboratory which will have bio-safety levels 2 and 3 facilities for improved clinical diagnostics.  Chargé Shukan also toured several hospital wards including the women’s health ward and HIV/AIDS clinic.  As one of PEPFAR Haiti’s largest partners, PIH/ZL reaches thousands of Haitians every year with HIV clinical services.  In 2016 PIH/ZL tested nearly 200,000 people for HIV and provided over 12,000 patients with HIV treatment.

Figure 2. A health care provider at HUM discusses HIV service provision with Chargé Shukan. PEPFAR has partnered with PIH/ZL since 2005 to increase access to life-saving HIV treatment.

Chargé Shukan also had the opportunity to meet with PIH/ZL team members to discuss the USG’s longstanding partnership with PIH/ZL.  In addition to strengthening laboratory capacity and HIV support, PEPFAR and the CDC are providing financial and technical assistance to improve tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment; and USAID is working with PIH/ZL to increase cervical cancer screening through a comprehensive cervical cancer program and improve human resources for health through a community health worker training initiative.  HUM also serves as one of three USAID-supported National Training Centers to build capacity of the local health workforce to provide high quality maternal and child health services.

With support from the United States, HUM treats over a thousand patients per day and provides training and residency to dozens of aspiring medical professionals. Despite the many technological resources at HUM, treatment remains free for all patients.  Chargé Shukan was impressed by HUM’s capacity and breadth of services, noting, “Our partnership with Partners in Health/Zanmi Lasante has been incredibly meaningful over the past 13 years.  It is exciting to see the lifesaving work that is being done across a variety of service delivery areas.  We are grateful for this strong partnership which continues to provide thousands of Haitians with quality health services.”

Figure 3. The CDC is supporting PIH/ZL to equip their laboratory with technology to improve TB diagnostics.