Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Back to the important stuff: Health delivery in Haiti

So, those of you who know me (or at least read this blog regularly) know that I spent January in Nairobi, working on a global health delivery project.

Today, we had a speaker in class: Dr. Louise Ivers from Partners in Health. This woman is absolutely incredible. Her energy, brains and dedication to her cause are an inspiration. Also, she is a vegetarian who, out of politeness, ate a super-goat in Haiti. At that point, I felt like Max Fischer when he first meets Herman Blume. Some choice tidbits from the talk:
  • "What we're really looking to do is to get the ultra-poor [ed.: <$1/day] to the 'just poor' level."
  • On finding partnerships versus building out capabilities to care for the underserved yourself:
    "We try to find partners that share our philosophy, but have capabilities we don''s a political process in which you often end up using the goodwill that you're building in this partnership to force changes."
  • On working with local governments in the developing world: "it's worth it to challenge local government workers by leading by them what's possible." She noted that dedication is contagious, particularly the obvious dedication of foreigners to a local cause.
  • Great results can empower local officials further, serving as a source of pride and a springboard for future partnership
And the money quote:

  • "We need more income-generation: a stimulus package for the central plateau of Haiti."

PS -- buy a goat for Haiti!

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