Lindsey's Reviews > Infections and Inequalities: The Modern Plagues

Infections and Inequalities by Paul Farmer
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's review
Nov 18, 2008

really liked it

An analysis of modern medicine's approach to TB and HIV treatment in Haiti and Peru by a medical doctor/anthropologist (the subject of the biography Mountains Beyond Mountains) who runs a clinic in western Haiti. Very insightful analysis of why TB treatment in such settings is often ineffective and where anthropology and health workers often fall short in identifying why patients are often "non-compliant" with extensive TB treatment regimens (i.e., they usually can't afford the meds). Farmer is very much an idealist and purports that the reason we should aggressively develop quality medical for the poor is because it's just, which is one of the reasons I love to read him. As a practicing doctor, he also asserts that doing so is much more cost effective and will help to quell the development of multi-drug resistant TB (MDRTB) strains. These, however, are really supportive arguments to uphold the notion that everyone deserves quality care as a human right. The book's direct audience seems to be a wider medical community that Farmer argues is insular and insulated, which perhaps explains why Farmer's explanations of the interconnectedness of poverty and disease sometimes seem heavyhanded.

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