Tiyatien Health / Liberia

 

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TH staff gather for their annual retreat.

Tiyatien Health (“Justice in Health” in Liberian Kwa-speaking dialect) is a social justice organization that works in partnership with communities in rural Liberia and the Liberian Government to promote equity by advancing health care services and the fundamental rights of the poor. Through services, research, advocacy and training, Tiyatien Health works to improve access to HIV treatment, care and support; pioneer models that deliver primary health care fairly and for all; and bolster social justice in rural Liberia – one of Africa’s poorest war-torn countries.

Southeastern Liberia, one of the poorest regions of one of Africa’s poorest nations, has been severely affected by decades of poverty and war. The region has been historically neglected, in part because of its remote location and treacherous roads. Nearly 90% of the people here were displaced during Liberia’s civil war; 80% live on less than $1 per day and unemployment rates are as high as 85%.

The historical neglect of the southeast is reflected in severe health inequalities. Rural Liberians living in the deep forests of the southeast can expect to live a mere 42 years, often eroded and embattled by harsh living conditions. Death during childbirth is also rampant, signaled by the shocking statistic that about one in twenty women can expect to die in childbirth. Interrupted disease control efforts have also bred one of West Africa’s largest HIV epidemics.

Inspired by the Partners in Health vision of “accompaniment,” TH works for world-class rural health care and believes that health is a human right to be enjoyed by all. TH seeks to build high-quality care within the public sector in Liberia’s most challenging settings. For instance, TH is the only agency supporting the Ministry of Health in scaling up anti-retroviral treatment in southeastern Liberia – the region with Liberia's highest HIV prevalence. TH seeks to build a health system to which any Liberian, or any person in the world, would be honored to send their children.

Health cannot be achieved without advancing other basic rights. TH systematically integrates health care services with broader efforts to achieve social justice, including promoting access to education, employment and agricultural assistance. TH is one of the largest employers of the poor in Zwedru, providing over 50 jobs to the destitute sick – as community health workers, coordinators and leaders in the programs.

TH links successful results to a belief that Liberia’s greatest asset is its people. Over the next several decades, TH hopes to prove that community initiatives -- led by rural people themselves -- can work hand-in-hand with government to establish a model rural health care system, based on accompaniment. TH believes such a system can help break the back of the twin epidemic of disease and poverty in one of the poorest regions of Liberia.

Click here to visit the Tiyatien Health website.

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