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The Haitian government commemorates World Health Day and honors Dr. Paul Farmer

The Government of Haiti through the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) commemorated World Health Day, Thursday, April 7, 2022, on the theme: "Our planet, our health".

The ceremony took place in the presence of the Prime Minister, His Excellency Dr. Ariel Henry, the Minister of Health, Dr. Alex Larsen, the Minister of the Environment, Mr. James Cadet, WHO representative in Haiti, Dr. Maureen Birmingham, co-founder of Centre Gheskio, Madame Marie Marcelle Deschamps, representatives of Zanmi Lasante-Partners in Health and several personalities from Haitian civil society.

The MSPP drew the attention of the Haitian community to the urgent measures needed to preserve the health of human beings and the planet and to spark a movement aimed at building a society centered on well-being.

This year’s World Health Day holds special significance for members of Zanmi Lasante-Partners in Health, affected by the passing of our co-founder and champion of public health and social justice, Dr. Paul Farmer.

To mark the passage of this great man, Prime Minister Henry paid him a tribute and presented a plaque of honor to his widow Didi B. Farmer and to Loune Viaud, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Equity in Global Health in Haiti and Head of Gender Equity and Social Justice at OnePIH.

The premature departure of Dr. Farmer is a huge loss for Haitians. He dreamed of a better, more equitable Haiti where even the poorest have access to quality health care.

“For nearly 40 long years, he led an unwavering struggle to promote health practices around the world rooted in social justice, respect, compassion, dignity for the most vulnerable. Polo had boundless passion and energy for achieving his vision. He also had a unique ability to find the right people to join his cause,” says Mrs. Farmer.

“Paul left us with a mission. He left us his vision. Polo was a husband, a father, a doctor, a teacher, an adviser, a visionary, a faithful and loyal friend, and a son of Haiti. Polo was a health giant,” added Ms. Viaud.

The Prime Minister, for his part, saluted with force and conviction the memory of Dr. Paul Farmer. “Paul Farmer was an eminent American physician and anthropologist. A philanthropist whose works, through Partners in Health and Zanmi Lasante, continue to benefit our people. Haiti as a whole will express its gratitude for a long time to this great man who will have marked generations of men and women in our society. It is out of our great sense of gratitude that we paid tribute to him today on World Health Day, a well-deserved posthumous tribute. The work of Dr. Paul Farmer will not be forgotten."


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