All photos taken by the author unless stated otherwise.

Yesterday was my birthday. I can’t help but wonder what my life would have looked like had I been born a few decades earlier. How effective I could have been working in a socio-political environment less chaotic than Haiti in the 21st century but much more conducive to the kinds of investments in health that I’ve dedicated my career to. Did I miss out on Haiti’s golden age?

For most Haitians living outside of Haiti, a community of about 2 million of which I am now part, the past has a special allure. Most people I’ve met from the Haitian…

The joy of falling in love with photography again.

All photos taken by the author with Sony RX100V and iPhone 4.

This is not another how-to post about what someone new to photography should do to improve his or her skills, nor is it another pointless debate over which gear is best, which lenses are better, have less distortion, are faster, full-frame vs. cropped, mirrorless vs. DSLR, or which is most suited for a specific genre of photography. This post is about the why of my personal photographic journey as opposed to the how. It is a reflection I wrote after stumbling through old photographs in my archives. The following images (most of them lightly edited) were taken at pivotal times…

Homelessness and Rough Sleeping during COVID-19.

As more and more Americans practice self-distancing and/or self-isolate in the comfort of their own home to flatten the COVID-19 curve, the homeless continue to sleep in abandoned buildings, shelters, or on the streets nearby. Addressing the issue of homelessness in America is no longer just a moral imperative to help the most vulnerable, but a matter of public health for the rest of us. What’s more, the economic crisis this pandemic is causing in big cities across the US is already pushing more people into homelessness.

In my travels across the US, I’ve always been struck by the number…

Or, how to preserve my humanity in the midst of disaster

Thirty-five seconds is all it took for the fate of my home country to change abruptly nine years ago, when a 7.0-magnitude earthquake disrupted the serenity of what promised to be a routine afternoon in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. Little did I know that my personal experience in dealing with this natural disaster would derail my plans to pursue a career in medicine and to begin working for Partners in Health.

View of the Jalouzi slum surrounding Petion-Ville. Due to poor building codes, the majority of structures collapsed after the earthquake and their inhabitants were displaced to squalid tent cities. / All photos by Ryan Jiha

Today, I feel the need to narrate my own account of this tragic event with great detail, not just so that you know, but also so that I do not…

Say what you want about President George W. Bush, but there are 14 million people on antiretroviral therapy worldwide because of PEPFAR, the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which he started. This #WorldAidsDay it is important for us to reflect on the progress made by all the actors who persisted and never gave up on the fight against HIV/AIDS and made global treatment possible for those who need it most: from activists to scientists, from policymakers to community health workers.

Before PEPFAR, more than 90% of all HIV infections were occurring in resource-limited countries, where patients had little…

A photo essay exploring the beauty and complexity in my backyard

Most days, I spend my time crunching numbers and staring at an Excel spreadsheet as the project manager for Partners In Health’s CDC/PEPFAR grant in Haiti, my home country. I spend half of my time in the capital of Port-au-Prince and the other half traveling throughout the country to check on the progress of HIV and tuberculosis work supported by Zanmi Lasante, as PIH is known locally.

I grew up in a privileged community in the urban, upper middle class neighborhood of Petion-Ville, along the eastern hills bordering Port-au-Prince. But I’ve come to know rural Haiti more intimately over the…

Ryan Jiha

At the intersection of photography, global health, and philantropy.

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