As with all Partners in Health (PIH) programs, success in the DR will rely largely on the efforts of accompagnateurs–men and women from the local community who are trained and employed by PIH/ZL as community health workers. Accompagnateurs work with patients in their communities to ensure that that they are able to take their medications as prescribed, and connect patients to social and economic services and support. They are a pivotal force in raising awareness of the existence and success of HIV treatment and care in these communities.
“The launch of the ZL project in the Dominican Republic is a huge victory on an international, political and medical level,” says Haitian project director in Elias Pina, Dr. Jennifer Severe. “The fruitful collaboration between Haitians and Dominicans involved in this project will ensure that the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Health will see PIH as a strong and long-term partner in health care.”