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Paul Farmer Death: What Was the Cause of Farmer’s Death?

Paul Farmer, a well-known American doctor, and humanitarian, died on February 21, 2022, at the age of 62. Dr. Sheila Davis, the CEO of his non-profit organization Partners In Health, announced his death.
While Paul Farmer’s death is tragic, his vision for the world will live on through Partners in Health.” All those around Paul learned the power of accompaniment, love for one another, and solidarity from Paul. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family.

About Paul Farmer

Paul Edward Farmer was a physician and medical anthropologist from the United States. Farmer received his MD and PhD from Harvard, where he was the Kolokotrones University Professor and chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

He was the co-founder and chief strategist of Partners In Health (PIH), an international non-profit organization that has provided direct health care services as well as research and advocacy on behalf of the sick and poor since 1987. He was a professor of medicine and the director of Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Division of Global Health Equity.

Paul Farmer’s Cause of Death

According to a tweet from the nonprofit, Partners In Health founder Dr. Paul Farmer died in his sleep while in Rwanda. While the exact cause of death has not been disclosed, he was 62 years old at the time of his death. Farmer was in Rwanda teaching at the University of Global Health Equity, a medical school he co-founded.

Paul Farmer Death

“Paul Farmer’s death is tragic, but his vision for the world will live on through Partners in Health,” said PIH CEO Dr. Sheila Davis in a statement. “Paul taught all those around him the power of accompaniment, love for one another, and solidarity; our hearts go out to Didi and their three children.”

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Early Life

Farmer grew up in Weeki Wachee, Florida, after being born in North Adams, Massachusetts. He had spent some of his childhood in Alabama, and when his family relocated to Florida, Farmer and his family of eight lived in an old school bus that his father had converted into a mobile home. Farmer described his father as a “free spirit” who later pursued commercial fishing and brought his family to live on a houseboat in the Gulf of Mexico.

Farmer’s father then anchored the houseboat in Jenkins Creek, a primitive bayou where the family bathed, bringing jugs of drinking water from Brooksville. Farmer put his education first and excelled academically. Farmers’ parents frequently read serious literature to their children, encouraging them to learn as much as they could about everything the world had to offer.

The family faced financial difficulties, which frequently required them to work in a variety of settings. Farmer’s family picked citrus fruit with Haitian migrant workers one summer, which was his first of many encounters with Haitians.

Career

Farmer co-founded Partners In Health in 1987 with Harvard colleagues Jim Yong Kim, Ophelia Dahl, Thomas J. White, and Todd McCormack. PIH began in Cange in Haiti’s Central Plateau and had 16 sites across the country with approximately 7,000 employees at the time of Farmer’s death in February 2022.

PIH in Cange was known as Zanmi Lasante, the sister organization of PIH. Zanmi Lasante built schools, homes, and communal sanitation and water systems to improve the community’s facilities and resources in central Haiti. The organization successfully vaccinated all of the local children while also reducing malnutrition and infant mortality rates in the area.

During the HIV crisis, Zanmi Lasante focused on AIDS prevention and successfully reduced HIV transmission rates from mothers to babies to 4%. Farmer and another PIH employee, Jim Yong Kim, were designated by the World Health Organization in 1999 to facilitate global multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) treatment programs, ensuring antibiotic delivery success.

Farmer established specific drug-therapy initiatives for people in Haiti, Peru, and Russia with the help of a $44.7 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. With this program having some of the highest cure rates in the world, it was clear that treating MDR TB in poor countries with functional delivery systems could be done at a low cost.

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Personal Life

Didi Bertrand Farmer, a Haitian medical anthropologist and community health specialist who has led several initiatives at Partners in Health, was Farmer’s wife. Her most recent work focuses on empowering young women and girls in Haiti and Rwanda. They have three children.

Paul Farmer Death

Farmer was one of 38 Harvard faculty members who signed a letter to The Harvard Crimson in February 2022 defending Professor John Comaroff, who had been found to have violated the university’s sexual and professional conduct policies. After students filed a lawsuit alleging Comaroff’s actions and the university’s failure to respond, Farmer was one of several signatories who said he wanted to retract his signature.

Frequently Asked Questions

When Dr. Paul Farmer Died, He Was How Old?

He was 62. Partners in Health, the global health organization he co-founded in 1987, announced his death, stating that the cause was “an acute cardiac event while he was sleeping.”

When Did Paul Farmers’ Funeral Take Place?

Paul Farmer was honored at a memorial service in Boston on Saturday, March 12, alongside friends and family of the late PIH co-founder and global health leaders.

Paul Farmer is What Kind of Doctor?

Paul Edward Farmer was a physician and medical anthropologist from the United States. Farmer received his MD and PhD from Harvard, where he was the Kolokotrones University Professor and chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

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