Paul Farmer, a doctor and anthropologist who sought to bring high-quality health care to some of the world’s poorest people, died Monday in Rwanda. He is 62 years old.
Partners in Health, the global public health organization that Dr. Farmer co-founded, announced His death in a statement did not specify the cause. Dr. Farmer previously lived in Rwanda and spent decades focusing on improving its health care system.
Dr. Farmer is known to the public in large part for “Mouns Beyond Mountains: The Quest for Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Will Cure the World,” in 2003. book by Tracy Kidder. It tells the life story of Dr. Farmer and celebrates his dedication to helping those most in need.
After graduating from college in 1982, Dr. Farmer lived for many years among Haiti’s poorest farmers, sleeping only an hour or two a night as he set up a new medical infrastructure.
He eventually returned to the United States to attend Harvard Medical School and earn a degree in anthropology, but he continued to spend most of his time in Cange, the community where he built his first clinic, filming back to Harvard for exams and lab work.
In the years that followed, Dr. Farmer raised millions of dollars, which was channeled into an ever-expanding network of community health facilities. He has a contagious enthusiasm; When Thomas White, the owner of a large construction company in Boston, asked to see him, he insisted that the meeting take place in Haiti.
Mr. White became a core sponsor and contributed $1 million in seed money to Partners in Health, which Dr. Farmer founded in 1987, along with Ophelia Dahl, another volunteer in Haiti, and a Duke’s old school friend, Todd McCormack.
The clinic in Haiti, which started out as a single room, has, over the years, grown into an adjoining hospital and nursing school, serving a community of more than 150,000 people.
Dr. Farmer has become a well-known public health figure, the subject of the 2017 documentary, “Bending the Arc” and the author of 12 books. The latest book, “Fevers, Feuds and Diamonds: Ebola and the Ravages of History,” sought to dispel worse misconceptions about the disease and focus on the scarcity of care devices. health in upland West Africa.
“For all their rainfall,” Dr. Farmer writes, “their citizens are stuck in the medical desert.”
In 2020, Dr. Farmer receives $1 million Berggruen Prizeawarded annually to someone whose ideas “profoundly shape human understanding and progress in a rapidly changing world.”
Chairman of the awards committee, Kwame Anthony AppiahDr Farmer said it has “reshaped our understanding” of “what it means to regard health as a human right and the moral and political obligations it follows”.
Dr. Farmer’s survivors include his wife, Didi Bertrand Farmer, a Partners in Health researcher, and their children, Elizabeth, Catherine and Sebastian.
A full obituary will be published soon.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/21/obituaries/paul-farmer-dead.html Paul Farmer, Global Health Pioneer, Dies at 62