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Kidder        Margaret Mead once said “Never underestimate the ability of a small group of committed individuals to change the world.” In my mind the standard of one person making a vast positive change on the world is underestimated. Many would underestimate the force that one person could have on the world. But indeed a caring and compassionate man living in Haiti had done just this. This is shown in the book Mountains beyond Mountains by Tracey Kidder. The book is centered on this one man Paul Farmer and his life. Though not through direct force Farmer makes the jails in Russia help their inmates fight TB, relieving them of the thought of undeniable death. I have found sources that illustrate peoples struggle for surviving with harsh medical conditions and Farmer’s effect on them as a whole. With these quotes from Kidder’s book I’ll extend my paper with other stories that people have profoundly affected the world and finally draw the connections together with how justice not only can served through one person’s determination. Farmer started his conquest when he was still a student in Haiti in 1983. He worked in Haitian villages like Central Plateau and then went to Harvard for medical school. Farmer is an extremely caring individual who is very brilliant in his work. He helped create Zanmi Lasante — which has grown from a one-building clinic in the village of Cange to a multiservice health complex with a fully functional hospital and school. “They were caring for more than three thousand HIV patients, and providing antiretroviral to about 350. They now had equipment and trained personal to do some of their own high tech aid diagnostics” (Kidder 301). The first open heart surgery also took place here all happening because of Farmer’s drive to help. This role was key in helping Haiti qualify in 2002 among the first group of countries awarded money from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; Haiti was actually the first country in the world to receive these funds and begin employing them to fight disease.  This helped other countries to follow in example, using world funding to give the people living in developing countries the medicine they need to survive.

One example of Farmer’s influence health policy is his work with the Russian jail system. Their jails were infested with tuberculosis and everyone in the jail feared random death. In Kidder’s book quoted Goldfarb, “One hundred thousand of the country’s prison inmates had active TB most if not all were being treated with the worst possible regimen with a single drug because the government hadn’t come up with the money to buy more” (Kidder 161). People who looked sick knew they were doomed and it created a chaotic atmosphere. “Most of these hundred thousand (inmates with TB) will possibly die without ever knowing whether that have MDR-TB, or nothing at all” (Kidder 160). Goldfarb is a “rumpled looking” microbiologist who works for the Soros Foundation on TV in Russia. He stated that he only has 6 million dollars and with all of his money he can only implement 10 thousand DOTS (medicine for TB) and that is simply not enough and unfair to build a “golden palace” for the select few while everyone else around them dies. People subjected to prison would view their punishment as a game of Russian roulette knowing their chances of dying is extremely high. In an online article Goldfarb said “There are 1.1 million prisoners in Russia. Nearly ten percent of them have active TB and have no longer respond to anti-TB drugs”(ResultsUSA) When one out of 10 people around you die because of infectious disease it can drive you to insanity just waiting for your first cough. It is incomprehensible to think that one person could even begin to have an effect on the Russian prisons but in reality one man has come close to easing the minds of Russian prisoners. This quotes illustrates no matter how bad the original situation a small group can create vast change among people. Farmer and Goldfarb were at a panel on international health and talked about the solution to this problem. A ringing endorsement of Partners in Healths community-based approach to health care, the award has allowed Zanmi Lasante to expand its treatment facilities into neighboring communities; this funded the revolution that took place in the Russian jails. Now the vaccine and medicine needed to keep the people alive in the Russian jails was readily available at a small cost to the world.

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Kidder        Margaret Mead And Book Mountains. (April 17, 2021). Retrieved from