Internationally acclaimed infectious diseases’ doctor and medical anthropologist, Dr Paul Farmer, has died at the age of 62 in Rwanda.
He co-founded the group, Partners in Health, in 1987 to deliver healthcare to some of the world’s poorest people.
In 2014, Partners in Health was one of the first organisations to respond to the Ebola crisis in West Africa.
In a statement, Partners In Health CEO Dr Sheila Davis said, “Paul Farmer’s loss is devastating, but his vision for the world will live on through Partners in Health. Paul taught all those around him the power of accompaniment, love for one another, and solidarity.”
Farmer gained public renown thanks largely to “Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World,” a 2003 book by Tracy Kidder. It told Dr Farmer’s life story and celebrated his devotion to helping the neediest.
In 2020, Dr Farmer received the $1 million Berggruen Prize, given annually to a person whose ideas have “profoundly shaped human self-understanding and advancement in a rapidly changing world.”
The chairman of the prize committee, Kwame Anthony Appiah, said Dr Farmer had “reshaped our understanding” of “what it means to treat health as a human right and the ethical and political obligations that follow.”
Dr Farmer’s survivors include his wife, Didi Bertrand Farmer, a researcher for Partners in Health, and their children, Elizabeth, Catherine and Sebastian.