Paul Farmer

December 4, 2014 - Paul Farmer 12/04/2014 Views: 24,203

"Infections and Inequalities" author Dr. Paul Farmer discusses his work with Partners In Health, a group that provides health care to impoverished people all over the world. (7:48)

>> WELCOME BACK, EVERYBODY,MY GUEST TONIGHT HELPED

FOUND THE MEDICAL CHARITY,PARTNERS IN HEALTH.

THEY USED TO BE ROOMMATES INHEALTH,

BUT THEIR FAMILIES ALWAYS KNEW

PLEASE WELCOME DR. PAULFARMER.

HEY, DR. FARMER, THANK YOUSO MUCH FOR COMING ON.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU SO MUCHFOR BEING HERE,

DR. PAUL FARMER.

YOU ARE THE CO-FOUNDER OFPARTNERS IN HEALTH, A

NONPROFIT THAT PROVIDESHEALTH CARE TO THE POOR ALL

OVER THE WORLD.

STARTED IN THE 1980s INHAITI.

THE GROUP IS NOW COMBATINGAIDS IN RWANDA, TUBERCULOSIS

IN PERU, EBOLA IN WESTAFRICA AND-- YOU HAVE BEEN

IN WEST AFRICA RECENTLY?

>> YES.

(LAUGHTER)>> Stephen: I'M GOING

TO WANT TO YOU TAKE YOURTEMPERATURE-- THERE, JUST

AT SOME POINT BEFORE YOU LEAVE,JUST GET THAT IN YOUR BUTT.

>> OKAY, I DO-- .

>> Stephen: I DO IT TO ALLMY GUESTS, NOT JUST YOU.

AGAIN, MY APOLOGIES TO DORISKEARNS GOODWIN

>> NOW OKAY, WHY DO YOUPROVIDE HEALTH CARE TO THE

POOR ALL AROUND THE WORLD?

WHY DO THAT?

SELL ME ON HELPING PEOPLE.

>> WELL, YOU KNOW, IT'S VERYGRATIFYING WORK.

IT'S VERY SATISFYING.

FIRST OF ALL-- .

>> Stephen: A LOT OF COIN INTHAT?

A LOT OF MONEY IN THAT?

>> WELL THERE ARE OTHERREWARDS.

WELL, YOU HAVE THE REWARD OFSEEING-- SEEING HOW

EFFECTIVE MEDICINE CAN BE INPUBLIC HEALTH.

>> Stephen: OKAY.

>> AND YOU GET TO USE YOURCOIN METAPHOR, YOU GET MORE

BANG FOR THE BUCK, ACTUALLY,WHEN YOU TURN YOUR ATTENTION

TO PEOPLE WHOSE LIVES AREDAMAGED BY POVERTY, AND

ILLNESS BECAUSE YOU WILL SEETHEY WILL RESPOND WELL TO

INTERVENTIONS THAT AREEASILY AVAILABLE TO US.

IT'S VERY SATISFYING.

>> Stephen: YOU ALSO HAVE ABOOK CALLED INFECTIONS AND

INEQUALITIES.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN ABOUTINFECTIONS AND INEQUALITIES.

INFECTIONS I UNDERSTAND.

THAT'S MEDICINE STUFF.

BUT INEQUALITY, INEQUALITYSOUNDS LIKE POLITICS.

THAT SOUNDS-- INEQUALITYSOUNDS LIKE ECONOMIC

INEQUALITY, SOCIALISM, HOWARE THEY RELATED TO EACH

OTHER?

>> WELL, I AM REFERRING TOECONOMIC INEQUALITY.

>> Stephen: IT HAS NOTHING TODO WITH MEDICINE

>> IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DOWITH MEDICINE.

>> Stephen: WHAT ARE YOUTALKING ABOUT, YOU CAN'T GET

SICK FROM BEING POOR.

>> YOU KNOW, SOCIALDISPARITIES RANGING FROM

RACISM DEGENERATIVEQUALITIES DO MAKE PEOPLE

SICK.

THEY MAKE PEOPLE SICKDIRECTLY.

BUT THEY PROBABLY MAKE OURSOCIETY SICK AS WELL.

>> Stephen: IS BEING POORCONTAGIOUS?

>> WELL, IN A SENSE IT ISCONTAGIOUS.

FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU DOSTUDIES OF OBESITY IN AN

AMERICAN CITY, AND YOU WILLSEE THAT THERE IS A SOCIAL

SPREAD OF CERTAINLY-- I AMRELUCTANT TO CALL THEM POOR

HABITS BECAUSE PEOPLE END UPLIVING IN PLACES THAT IT

DON'T HAVE GOOD AND HEALTHYFOOD.

OR DON'T HAVE SAFEENVIRONMENTS.

SO IN THAT SENSE, IT ISCONTAGIOUS.

>> Stephen: WHAT'S THEPRESCRIPTION FOR POVERTY?

>> WELL, THE PRESCRIPTIONFOR POVERTY INCLUDES

TRANSFER OF RESOURCES.

LIKE YOU KNOW, ONE OF THEIRMOST SUCCESSFUL AREAS OF

DEVELOPMENT IS-- I MEAN IT'SCAUSED BY A HOKEY NAME.

A CASH TRANSFER, CONDITIONALOR-- .

>> Stephen: THAT'S NOT AHOKEY NAME, THAT IS A

TERRIFYING NAME.

BECAUSE I'VE GOT A LOT OFCASH AND YOU WANT MY CASH TO

GO TO SOMEBODY ELSE?

>> WELL, AGAIN, YOU'LL HAVEA BIG RETURN ON THAT

INVESTMENT.

BECAUSE IF YOU-- .

>> Stephen: I GOT A BIGRETURN ON IT RIGHT NOW, MY

FRIEND.

CALLED WALL STREET.

>> WELL, COMPARED TO SOMEOTHER INVESTMENT ON WALL

STREET OR OFF OF IT,INVESTING RESOURCES IN

REALLY POOR FAMILIES, INPOOR COMMUNITIES, LEADS TO

PRETTY RAPID IMPROVEMENT.

AND I THINK THERE'S THEIDEA-- .

>> Stephen: HOW DOES THATHELP ME.

I GIVE MONEY-- I GIVE MYMONEY, IT GOES TO SOME POOR

GUY, YOU KNOW, WHERE, WHEREARE YOU GUYS WORKING?

GIVE ME A PLACE.

>> LIBERIA, SIERRA LEONE.

>> Stephen: SO MY MONEY GOESOVER THERE, HOW IS THAT

HELPING ME?

HOW IS THAT SCRATCHING MYBACK?

>> THERE IS A LOT OFEVIDENCE TO SUGGEST THAT THE

WORLD WILL BE SAFER AND MOREPROSPEROUS IF THERE ARE NOT

THESE KIND OF INEQUALITIES,IF WE CAN ADDRESS THEM.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)>> Stephen: HOW MANY PEOPLE--

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE PARTNERS

IN HEALTH HELPED WORLDWIDESO FAR.

>> CUMULATIVELY?

>> Stephen: YEAH.

>> MANY, MANY MILLIONS, IIMAGINE.

EVEN TENS OF MILLIONS ANDWORKING IN PARTNERSHIP

WITH PUBLIC HEALTHAUTHORITIES, FOR EXAMPLE, IN

RWANDA.

TO USE THAT EXAMPLE WE'VEBEEN LUCKY ENOUGH TO REACH,

YOU KNOW, SIGNIFICANTCOMPONENTS OF THE POPULATION.

AND SEE MASSIVE REVERSALS INMISFORTUNE THAT RWANDA KNEW

ONLY 15 YEARS AGO SO RWANDA,FOR EXAMPLE, IS A COUNTRY

WITH A PRETTY GOODHEALTH-CARE SYSTEM.

AND ALTHOUGH YOUCOULDN'T-- YOU MIGHT NOT

HAVE A HEART TRANSPLANTTHERE OR HAVE, YOU KNOW,

CHOOSE TO HAVE YOURMALIGNANCY TREATED THERE, IF

YOU ARE SICK AND ARE IN AVILLAGE, YOU CAN COUNT ON

THAT SYSTEM REACHING YOU.

AND THAT'S ONE OF THEREASONS WHY REDUCTION IN

EARLY MORTALITY HAS BEENMORE STEEPED IN RWANDA THAN

ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)>> Stephen: HOW LONG

HAVE YOU BEEN DOING THIS WORK?

>> 30 PLUS YEARS.

>> Stephen: AND DO YOU GOYOURSELF TO SOME OF THESE

PLACES AROUND THE WORLD?

>> I DO.

>> Stephen: ROUGH PLACES,WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST

DANGEROUS PLACES YOU'VEBEEN?

IS.

>> WELL, I'VE BEEN IN VERY--PLACES THAT ARE UNSTABLE.

AND SO-- .

>> Stephen: THE HOUSE OFREPRESENTATIVES?

>> I WAS THERE YESTERDAY.

>> Stephen: WERE YOU REALLY?

>> YEAH

>> Stephen: YOU GOT OUTALIVE.

>> I DID.

AND THEY DIDN'T GET EBOLA.

SO-- I WAS THERE YESTERDAY.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)>> Stephen: DO YOU EVER-- OKAY,

I UNDERSTAND, YOU KNOW, IUNDERSTAND LIKE YOU KNOW

CARING FOR PEOPLE AND I,THIS IS EXACTLY THE KIND OF

WORK I WOULD DO, BUT NEEDLESMAKE ME... ALSO POOR PEOPLE, BUT

DO YOU, DO YOU HAVE LIKE EVEREMPATHY OVERLOAD

AND DO YOU EVER SAY TO YOURSELF"IF I VACCINATE ONE MORE KID

TODAY," DO YOU EVER GET TIREDOF THIS.

YOU WANT TO PACK IT IN?

WHY ISN'T THERE A HEALTHCRISIS IN ST. BARTS?

>> WELL, YOU KNOW, CERTAINLY,I MEAN, I THINK ONE DOES GET

TAXED.

AND YOU DO REACH THE LIMITS.

THAT IS THE WHOLE POINT OFWORKING IN PARTNERSHIP AND

WITH A TEAM.

BECAUSE THERE'S ALWAYSSOMEONE ON YOUR TEAM WHO IS

NOT TIRED OR OVERWORKED, YOUKNOW, IF IT'S A BIG ENOUGH

TEAM THAT IS THE OTHER GREATTHING ABOUT TEACHING IS YOU

BRING IN VITAL PEOPLE EVERYYEAR INTO THIS WORK SO IT IS A

GREAT WAY TO AVOID BURNOUT.

>> HOW IS THE ORGANIZATIONSUSTAINED?

>> A LOT OF PARTNERS INHEALTH SUPPORT COMES FROM

PRIVATE DONORS, INDIVIDUALS,MOST OF IT IN FACT

>> Stephen: IF SOMEBODYWANTED TO DONATE PARTNERS IN

HEALTH, WHERE WOULD THEY GO?

>> WWW.PIH.ORG.

>> Stephen: ALL RIGHT, THEREIS A GOOD CHANCE-- THERE IS

A GOOD CHANCE-- THERE'S AGOOD CHANCE THAT'S ON THE

BOTTOM OF THE SCREEN RIGHTNOW.

DR. PAUL FARMER, THANK YOUSO MUCH FOR BEING HERE.

>> THANK YOU.

>> Stephen: DR. PAUL FARMER,PARTNERS IN HEALTH.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.