Director of worldwide health network, speaks in Berkeley

Daily Planet Staff Reports
Wednesday November 15, 2000

Founding Director of Partners in Health, with branches in Haiti, Mexico, Cambodia, Peru, and Roxbury (Mass.), Dr. Paul Farmer will be speaking in Berkeley tonight. 

“We need to oppose this push for lower standards of care for the poor. We are physicians. Equity is the only acceptable goal,” Farmer said. 

As a medical student in the mid-1980s, Farmer witnessed the death of three young adults in central Haiti from readily treatable tuberculosis. This led him to make the disease the center of his medical expertise, and to bring the best medicine the United States has to offer to that region in Haiti.  

Farmer established a hospital in central Haiti that serves 1 million of the poorest people in the Americas. Farmer works as a doctor at the hospital eight months of the year.  

He is also head of a program in Infectious Disease and Social Change at the Harvard Medical School. Farmer, also an anthropologist, is also the chief consultant on tuberculosis in Russian prisons for the World Bank (unpaid, at his insistence). 

He is the author of Infectious Inequalities: The Modern Plagues and editor of Women, Poverty and AIDS; his other books include: The Uses of Haiti and AIDS and Accusation.  

He will be speaking today at 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph the Worker Church, 1640 Addison St. Donation is $5-15. For information, call 558-0371.