Paul Farmer, American physician and global health care pioneer, dies at 62

Paul Farmer, an American medical doctor and professional medical anthropologist renowned for his impressive work in supplying health care to poorer nations, died Monday at age 62, his nonprofit group Partners in Health stated.  

The Boston-based corporation explained he “unexpectedly handed away today in his slumber when in Rwanda.”

“Paul Farmer’s decline is devastating, but his vision for the earth will live on via Associates in Overall health,” the group’s CEO Dr. Sheila Davis stated in a assertion. “Paul taught all these all over him the ability of accompaniment, love for a person one more, and solidarity.”

Farmer’s perform on providing health and fitness treatment options to poorer nations around the world brought him large acclaim. A 2003 ebook profiling him, “Mountains Further than Mountains,” called him “the guy who would remedy the earth.”

Tributes to Farmer’s legacy poured in on social media from all over the world.

Samantha Electrical power, the previous U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, tweeted that Farmer was “a huge” in his industry.

“Devastating news,” she posted. “Paul Farmer gave anything — every little thing — to other people. He saw the worst, and nonetheless did all he could to bring out the very best in every person he encountered.”

“It is tricky to overstate the impact Dr. Paul Farmer experienced on the medical job,” pulmonologist and health care analyst Dr. Vin Gupta tweeted

“This is past devastating. Paul was a hero, a mentor and a friend,” Brown University’s Dr. Ashish K. Jha tweeted. “He taught us what world-wide wellbeing need to be and encouraged all of us to do superior.”

And actor Edward Norton, a social and environmental activist, known as Farmer “a single of the most loving, funny, generous & inspiring men and women to grace humanity with his soul in our lifetimes.”

Doing the job in Haiti in 1987, Farmer co-launched Companions in Well being to help devise and deliver better wellbeing treatment in lousy and badly underserved international locations.

A co-founder and near longtime affiliate was Jim Yong Kim, who went on to direct the Entire world Financial institution from 2012 to 2019. In 2009, Farmer succeeded Kim as chair of the Division of Global Well being and Social Medicine at Harvard Health care Faculty. The similar calendar year he was named a UN deputy exclusive envoy to Haiti, functioning with Invoice Clinton.

Farmer held that position at the time of the island’s devastating 2010 earthquake, and quickly was headed to Haiti on an plane complete of doctors.

Farmer, a lifelong advocate for the weak Caribbean nation, co-founded the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti and worked with nearby leaders to open up a modern day teaching medical center in Mirebalais, in central Haiti, in 2013.

Haitian conjoined twins get support from a native son


He talked with CBS News chief healthcare correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook about the project in 2012, when the hospital was however below construction.

“We want to be capable to say, just once, that the top quality of care we are offering to persons dwelling in abject poverty is as fantastic as if they had been born in some ritzy aspect of Manhattan, say. That eyesight of fairness and justice and decency is what we’d like to give delivery to,” Farmer claimed.

“What a crushing decline,” LaPook reported Monday.

Farmer was editor in main of the journal Overall health and Human Rights, and wrote extensively on the juncture of these two fields.

Farmer was also main of the division of Worldwide Wellness Equity at Brigham and Women’s Medical center, in Boston, Massachusetts.

He, Kim and a further Companions in Wellbeing co-founder, Ophelia Dahl — daughter of British author Roald Dahl and American actress Patricia Neal — are highlighted in a 2017 documentary, “Bending the Arc.”

In addition to Rwanda and Haiti, Companions in Health and fitness will work in Kazakhstan, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mexico, Peru, Russia and Sierra Leone, as properly as in Navajo communities in the United States.

Farmer was married to Didi Bertrand Farmer, a Haitian health-related anthropologist.

In 2008, Farmer invited “60 Minutes” to central Haiti, the place he discovered his life’s perform. The invitation meant a a few-hour, jaw clenching, tooth rattling experience on an unpaved road from the funds city to the clinic. Watch the video clip below:

Added: Dr. Farmer on Haiti’s Restoration


Eleanore Beatty

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