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Does the scientific "theory" that HIV came to North America from Haiti stem from underlying attitudes of racism and ethnocentrism in the United States rather than from hard evidence? Award-winning author and anthropologist-physician Paul Farmer answers with this, the first full-length ethnographic study of AIDS in a poor society. First published in 1992 this new edition has been updated and a new preface added.
Exposes the racism inherent in the now-discredited supposition that AIDS came to the US via Haiti. (It was the other way around.) Award-winning author Paul Farmer, now working in Rwanda, updates this 1992 study with a new preface.
On January 12, 2010 a major earthquake struck near Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Hundreds of thousands of people died, and the greater part of the capital was demolished. Dr. Paul Farmer, U. N. deputy special envoy to Haiti, had worked in the country for nearly thirty years, treating infectious diseases like tuberculosis and AIDS. No one understood better than he how painful it was that Haiti, the site of so much suffering, would have to endure another disaster. It was, in his words, a "cruel cosmic joke. " Farmer and former President Bill Clinton, the U. N. special envoy to Haiti, had just begun to work on an extensive development plan to improve living conditions in Haiti. Now their project was transformed into a massive international rescue and relief effort. In his own words, Farmer documents this effort, including the harrowing obstacles and the small triumphs. Support came in the form of dozens of humanitarian groups and a flood of money. Despite this outpouring of aid, the challenges were astronomical. U. N. plans were crippled by Haiti's fragile infrastructure and the death of U. N. staff members who had been based in Port-au-Prince. As the humanitarian operations grew, questions about their effectiveness mounted. By some estimates, Haiti had more NGOs per capita than any other place on earth. And yet, Haitians were still suffering from a lack of basic services, from a lack of food, water, and shelter. Farmer shows how the earthquake heightened the problems in Haiti and argues that these long-term challenges cannot be ignored. In chronicling the relief effort, Farmer draws attention to the social issues that made Haiti so vulnerable to this natural disaster. Now that their already weak public-health system has been further damaged, Haiti's poor are even more vulnerable to fresh onslaughts of diseases like cholera and typhoid. Yet Farmer's account is not a gloomy catalog of impenetrable problems. As devastating as Haiti's circumstances are, its population manages to keep going. Farmer shows how, even in the barest camps, Haitians organize themselves, creating small businesses such as beauty parlors. His narrative is interwoven with stories from Haitians themselves, from doctors and others working on the ground. Ultimately this is a story of human endurance and humility in difficult circumstances. Once again, Paul Farmer reveals what can be accomplished in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds.
Paul Farmer has battled AIDS in rural Haiti and deadly strains of drug-resistant tuberculosis in the slums of Peru. A physician-anthropologist with more than fifteen years in the field, Farmer writes from the front lines of the war against these modern plagues and shows why, even more than those of history, they target the poor. This "peculiarly modern inequality" that permeates AIDS, TB, malaria, and typhoid in the modern world, and that feeds emerging (or re-emerging) infectious diseases such as Ebola and cholera, is laid bare in Farmer's harrowing stories of sickness and suffering. Challenging the accepted methodologies of epidemiology and international health, he points out that most current explanatory strategies, from "cost-effectiveness" to patient "noncompliance," inevitably lead to blaming the victims. In reality, larger forces, global as well as local, determine why some people are sick and others are shielded from risk. Yet this moving account is far from a hopeless inventory of insoluble problems. Farmer writes of what can be done in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds, by physicians determined to treat those in need. Infections and Inequalities weds meticulous scholarship with a passion for solutions--remedies for the plagues of the poor and the social maladies that have sustained them.
This book illuminates the depth and impact of anthropologist and physician Paul Farmer's contributions and demonstrates how, over time, this unassuming and dedicated doctor has fundamentally changed the way we think about health, international aid, and social justice.
Bringing together the experience, perspective and expertise of Paul Farmer, Jim Yong Kim, and Arthur Kleinman, Reimagining Global Health provides an original, compelling introduction to the field of global health. Drawn from a Harvard course developed by their student Matthew Basilico, this work provides an accessible and engaging framework for the study of global health. Insisting on an approach that is historically deep and geographically broad, the authors underline the importance of a transdisciplinary approach, and offer a highly readable distillation of several historical and ethnographic perspectives of contemporary global health problems. The case studies presented throughout Reimagining Global Health bring together ethnographic, theoretical, and historical perspectives into a wholly new and exciting investigation of global health. The interdisciplinary approach outlined in this text should prove useful not only in schools of public health, nursing, and medicine, but also in undergraduate and graduate classes in anthropology, sociology, political economy, and history, among others.
Here, for the first time, is a collection of short speeches by the charismatic doctor and social activist Paul Farmer. One of the most passionate and influential voices for global health equity and social justice, Farmer encourages young people to tackle the greatest challenges of our times. Engaging, often humorous, and always inspiring, these speeches bring to light the brilliance and force of Farmer's vision in a single, accessible volume. A must-read for graduates, students, and everyone seeking to help bend the arc of history toward justice, To Repair the World: * Challenges readers to counter failures of imagination that keep billions of people without access to health care, safe drinking water, decent schools, and other basic human rights; * Champions the power of partnership against global poverty, climate change, and other pressing problems today; * Overturns common assumptions about health disparities around the globe by considering the large-scale social forces that determine who gets sick and who has access to health care; * Discusses how hope, solidarity, faith, and hardbitten analysis have animated Farmer's service to the poor in Haiti, Peru, Rwanda, Russia, and elsewhere; * Leaves the reader with an uplifting vision: that with creativity, passion, teamwork, and determination, the next generations can make the world a safer and more humane place.
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