In The New Yorker, Partners in Health co-founder Dahl on impoverished Haiti: “To have seen this and to not do anything, I knew wasn’t an option.”

The New Yorker offers a profile of Ophelia Dahl, the daughter of celebrity parents who want on to help found Boston-based Partners in Healthheader-logo-orange. That group describes its mission this way: “We go. We make house calls. We build health systems. We stay. ”

Development organizations will donate something finite, even if it’s redundant, rather than something essential but ongoing; thus, a community might receive a bathroom, a handwashing sign, or a thousand packets of oral-rehydration salts, instead of salaries for trained nurses, or, say, electricity. “There are endless examples of bigger interventions—like a hospital—in the middle of nowhere, and it falls apart because it hasn’t been built within a community of trained people, or with the normal pipeline for overhead and upkeep,” Dahl said. If a hospital is erected, but there is no running water or sewage system—to say nothing of diagnostic equipment or personnel who can operate it—it is as useless as a bucket of water without soap. Consequently, Partners in Health often helps supply things that fall outside a medical-aid organization’s typical purview, such as bridges and satellite dishes and gasoline. “These things need to be done in order for people to have a reasonable chance of being healthy,” Dahl said, “and not being . . . dead.”

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