Death of doctor Paul Farmer, “great friend of Haiti”

[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for all links.] The original title of this article by Agence France Presse (21 February 2022) is “Mort du médecin Paul Farmer, ‘grand ami d’Haïti.’” It centers on the untimely death of Dr. Paul Farmer, the eminent practitioner of “social medicine” and co-founder of Partners in Health, who dedicated his life to public health in Haiti, Rwanda, and other countries.

American doctor Paul Farmer, known for his humanitarian work in developing countries, died Monday in Rwanda at the age of 62, his Boston-based organization announced. “Dr. Paul Farmer died unexpectedly today in his sleep,” said the humanitarian NGO Partners in Health, which he co-founded from Haiti in the late 1980s, to provide treatment to populations in the poor countries.

Infectious disease specialist

Professor at Harvard, anthropologist and specialist in infectious diseases, he lived for many years in this Caribbean country. In 2010, at the time of the catastrophic earthquake, Paul Farmer was responsible for co-leading United Nations efforts in Haiti, working alongside former US President Bill Clinton. He was “one of the most extraordinary people we have ever known,” he said in a statement.

The director of the United States aid agency, Samantha Power, called his death “devastating”. “Paul gave everything to others, everything,” she said, hailing a “giant”, “generous” and “brilliant”.

Paul Farmer, who regularly denounces the deadly impact of poverty on health, was also well known for his years spent in Africa, during which he made the fight against Ebola one of his main battles.

Advocating for “quality care” in West Africa, he had recently distinguished himself in videos calling for donations alongside American stars like Jennifer Lawrence or Julianne Moore. “If you had the chance to know him, your life would be changed, for the better,” assured American actor Edward Norton, known for his investment in social entrepreneurship.

In Rwanda, Paul Farmer worked to found a university to address the lack of health professionals in Africa, training not only doctors, but also specialists in health care issues in poor or rural. The institution called his death an “unimaginable catastrophe”.

Paul Farmer was married and had three children.

Translated by Ivette Romero. For original article (in French), see  

Also see :

Haïti : Le docteur Paul Farmer est mort
AlterPresse, 21 février 2022

Dr Paul Farmer est mort dans son sommeil : un électrochoc en Haïti et ailleurs
Le Nouvelliste, 21 février 2022

Merci, Docteur Paul Farmer
Le Nouvelliste, 21 février 2022

Paul Farmer : un ami d’Haïti est mort
Haïti Standard, 21 février 2022

Haïti : Le Dr Paul Farmer, co-Fondateur de «Zanmi Lasante» est décédé
Haïti Libre, 22 février 2022

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