Since 1994, PIH’s project in Peru, Socios En Salud (PIH/SES), has been treating disease and training community members to provide education and care for their neighbors. As a valued partner to the Peruvian Ministry of Health, PIH/SES has also had an impact on national policies for prevention and treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and HIV while also providing important training and support to help implement those policies nationwide.

Drawing on PIH’s experience with community-based care in rural Haiti, PIH/SES has achieved remarkable success in confronting an epidemic of MDR-TB in the slums of Lima. In the process, PIH/SES has treated more than 10,500 people, overturning assumptions that treatment of MDR-TB is too expensive and too complicated to succeed in poor communities. With cure rates upward of 75 percent—the highest in the world—PIH/SES has instigated major changes in national and global health policies.

Today, PIH/SES is a global leader in clinical and operational research on MDR-TB. Once fully up and running, the multi-year Epidemiology of Multidrug Resistant Tuberculosis study will involve 124 health centers, 4,000 patients, 20,000 contacts, and hundreds of staff, making it among the world's largest MDR-TB research studies.

Treating the whole patient

Beyond providing TB care, the PIH/SES team operates 16 botiquines (small health posts) in the shantytowns of Lima that serve patients who would otherwise have no access to primary care. The botiquines are overseen by local women trained as health promoters who manage supplies and coordinate medical care.

PIH/SES provides food baskets, transportation, lodging, and social support for impoverished patients, in addition to providing opportunities for income generation projects, job-skills training, and small loans to start businesses.

By the numbers:

Total population: 29,549,517
Life expectancy at birth: 73 years
Child mortality: 21.5 per 1,000
Adult prevalence of HIV: 0.4%
Prevalence of TB: 106 per 100,000
Population living below national poverty line: 34.8%