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#264: INFECTIONS AND INEQUALITIES. New book by Paul Farmer
INFECTIONS AND INEQUALITIES: THE MODERN PLAGUES. By Paul Farmer.
Berkeley: The University of California Press, 1999.
ISBN: 0-=520-21544-3. $29.95.
The jacket cover says this about the book:
"Paul Farmer has battled AIDS in rural Haiti and deadly strains of
drug-resistant tuberculosis in the slims 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.
"What is it like to be a doctor to the poor, observing with an
anthoropologists eye the harsh juxtapositions of excess and misery?
Moving regularly from the teaching hospitals of Harvard, themselves
abutting urban poverty, to a clinic in the hills of Haiti's Central
Plateau, Farmer has experienced firsthad the 'peculiarly modern
inequality' that seems inseparable from AIDS, TB, malaria, and typhoid in
the modern world, and that feeds emerging (or re-emerging) infectious
diseases such as Ebola and cholera. In his stories of sickness and
suffering. Farmer challenges the accepted methodologies of epidemiology
and international health. He argues that most current explanations, from
'cost-effectiveness' to patient 'non-compliance,' inevitab ly lead to
blaming the victims.
"This moving account is fra from a hopeless inventory of insoluble
problems. Farmer tells us what can be done in the face of seemingly
over-whelming odds, by physicians determining to treat those in need.
Deeply humane and harrowing in its detail, INFECTIONS AND INEUALITIES
weds meticulouis scholarship with a passion for solutions -- remedies for
the plagues of the poor and the social maladies that have sustained them."
Specific chapters which seem to focus on Haiti are;
Ch. 5: "Culture, Poverty, and HIV Transmission: The Case of Haiti."
Ch. 6: "Sending Sickness: Sorcery, Politics, and Changing Concepts
of AIDS in Rural Haiti."
Ch. 8: "Optimism and Pessimism in Tuberculosis Control: Lessons from
However, the index indicates that there are referrences to Haiti in many
other places in the book than just the chapters that I cite which are
specifically on Haiti.