Paul Farmer, an American physician, medical anthropologist, and renowned for his pioneering work in providing health care services to poorer nations, has died at the age of 62. Partners in Health reported.
According to the Boston-based group, he died in his sleep in Rwanda today.
Dr. Sheila Davis, the CEO of Partners in Health, stated that Paul Farmer’s death was devastating but that his vision for the future will continue through Partners in Health. Paul taught everyone around him the power to support, love and share with one another.
Farmer’s efforts to provide health care solutions for poorer countries earned him widespread acclaim. He was called “Mountains Beyond Mountains”, a 2003 biography that featured him.
Social media users from all over the globe have shared tributes to Farmer’s legacy.
Samantha Power, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations tweeted Farmer was “a giant in his field.”
She posted, “Devastating news.” Paul Farmer gave everything to everyone. He saw the worst in people, but he did everything he could to bring out their best.
Vin Gupta, a pulmonologist and medical analyst tweeted: “It’s hard to overstate Dr. Paul Farmer’s impact on the medical profession.”
“This is absolutely devastating. Paul was a hero and mentor, and a friend,” Dr. Ashish K. Java of Brown University tweeted. “He taught all of us how global health should be and instilled hope in us all to do better.”
Edward Norton, an actor and social and environmental activist called Farmer “one the most loving, kind, generous, generous, and inspiring people to grace humanity with their souls in our lifetimes.”
Farmer, who was working in Haiti in 1987 as a doctor, co-founded Partners in Health in order to provide better health care in underserved and poor countries.
Jim Yong Kim was a co-founder and a longtime friend. He went on to become the World Bank’s chief executive from 2012 to 2019. Kim was succeeded by Farmer as the chair of Harvard Medical School’s Department of Global Health and Social Medicine in 2009. He was also named UN deputy special Envoy to Haiti in the same year, along with Bill Clinton.
Farmer was in that position during the devastating earthquake of 2010 on the island. Soon, he was flying to Haiti with a full crew of doctors.
Farmer, who has been a tireless advocate for the poor Caribbean nation for his entire life, founded the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti and worked together with local leaders to create a modern teaching facility in Mirebalais in central Haiti in 2013.
He spoke with Dr. Jon LaPook, CBS News chief medical correspondent, about the project in 2012 when it was still being built.
“We want to be in a position to just once say that the quality care we provide to people in poverty is equal to if they were born in a ritzy area of Manhattan. Farmer stated that Farmer would like to see a vision of justice, equity, and decency.
LaPook declared Monday that it was a “severe loss”.
Farmer was the editor-in-chief of the journal Health and Human Rights and wrote extensively about the intersection of these two fields.
Farmer was also the chief of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.
In “Bending the Arc,” a documentary from 2017, Kim, he, and Kim, a Partners in Health cofounder, are featured. Ophelia Dahl, daughter of Roald Dahl in Britain and Patricia Neal in the USA.
Partners in Health also works in Rwanda, Haiti, Lesotho and Liberia, Mexico, Peru and Russia, in addition to the Navajo communities in America.
Farmer was married Didi Bertrand Farmer who is a Haitian medical anthropologist.
In 2008, Farmer invited “60 Minutes”, a group of 60 people to central Haiti. This was where he found his true calling. It was a three-hour ride, with jaw clenching and teeth rattling, on an unpaved road between the capital city and the hospital.