Paul Farmer with a Haitian patient.
As Partners in Health's oldest project, Zanmi Lasante has served as a prototypical model for the development of many health programs. Zanmi Lasante is successful largely due to its implementation of a community-based system, which involves teamwork between physicians, patients, and community health workers, or accompagnateurs. Accompagnateurs are responsible for monitoring the health and economic needs of Zanmi Lasante's many patients.
The small clinic that was built in Cange with the help of Tom White in 1985 has since grown into a hospital with an outpatient center and a research laboratory. The 104-bed hospital has equipment such as a blood bank and radiographic tools. True to its vision, PIH continues to serve all patients and to provide as much support and treatment possible in order to ensure the well being of a patient, despite the presence of socioeconomic or political barriers.
In addition to the flagship program in Cange, PIH operates hospitals in other locations such as Boucan Carré, Hinche, Thomonde, Belladère, Lascahobas, Cerca La, Petite Rivière and Saint Marc. Zanmi Lasante has also set up a program to provide free treatment to HIV/AIDS patients. It also created the HIV Equity Initiative, which has become a global model for the treatment of AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
Zanmi Lasante is also home to Proje Sante Farm, a women's clinic that specializes in pre-and post-natal care. Screenings for sexually transmitted diseases and cervical cancer are available for all patients and have contributed to the health of many women who visit the clinic. Today, Zanmi Lasante treats over 500 million people in Haiti's Central Plateau. In addition to their work in medical treatment, the employees of PIH have been strong advocates for human rights and major players in improving access to water, food, medical care and sanitation.