“The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world.”
― Dr. Paul Farmer
If you aren’t familiar with Dr. Paul Farmer, you should consider becoming so as soon as you can. I recommend by starting by reading Tracy Kidder’s book, Mountains Beyond Mountains, which tells the story of how Dr. Farmer found his life’s calling while in medical school to bring medical care to impoverished communities, and subsequently co-founded the non-profit organization Partners in Health.
“Our mission is to provide a preferential option for the poor in health care. By establishing long-term relationships with sister organizations based in settings of poverty, Partners In Health strives to achieve two overarching goals: to bring the benefits of modern medical science to those most in need of them and to serve as an antidote to despair.”
– Partners in Health website
Where it all began
Founded in 1987, Partners in Health (PIH), Paul Farmer, along with by Ophelia Dahl, Thomas J. White, Todd McCormack, and Jim Yong Kim sets out to provide healthcare to some of the most impoverished areas in developing nations around the world including Haiti, Peru, Rwanda, Mexico and Russia. Consisting initially of one hospital, Zanmi Lasante (“Partners in Health”) in Cange, Haiti, that focused on treating HIV/AIDS patients the organization has since expanding its programs to include cancer and chronic diseases, child health, maternal health, cholera, Ebola, nursery, research and surgery to name a few.
“Partners In Health is a social justice organization driven by the uncompromising belief that everyone, especially those most in need, deserves the right to health care.”
– PIH website
To date, PIH has provided 1.6 million outpatient visits in their clinics, conducted over 800,000 home care visits by community healthcare providers and provided 1 million women’s health check-ups around the world.
“Partners In Health treats patients and trains the next generation of local health care workers in some of the most remote and marginalized communities around the world. We then use what we’ve learned at the grassroots level to influence global health policy so that our model of innovative care can be replicated all around the world.”
– PIH website
Why we love Partners in Health
PIH is not only an incredibly reputable organization that has a proven track record for helping vulnerable populations, but they also stand because of the manner in which donors and supporters can feel personally connected to their story and that of Paul Farmer. Dr. Farmer is an inspiration to anyone and everyone in his dedication to working towards correcting injustices that he sees through his work. He is a personal hero of mine, and he is also funny. I highly encourage anyone to read his writing, listen in on one of his discussions offered through the PIH website, and donating to Partners in Health whenever possible.
Consider donating to Partners in Health today by visiting their website: DONATE to PARTNERS IN HEALTH
Photo courtesy of the PIH website.
Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
The Uses of Haiti by Dr. Paul Farmer
Haiti After the Earthquake by Dr. Paul Farmer
To Repair the World: Paul Farmer Speaks to the Next Generation by Dr. Paul Farmer
Reimagining Global Health by Dr. Paul Farmer
Watch the movie: