[Blackstudies-l] The uplifting story of a determined trio who improved health care in poor nations

Maria Lima lima at geneseo.edu
Sun Oct 22 01:30:12 EDT 2017


lisaparavisini posted: " A report by Erin Blakemore for the Washington
Post.  Does the arc of the moral universe really bend toward justice, as
American abolitionist Theodore Parker famously said? It didn’t look that
way when Paul Farmer, a young medical student, first visite"
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New post on *Repeating Islands*
<http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/> The uplifting story of
a determined trio who improved health care in poor nations
<http://repeatingislands.com/2017/10/21/the-uplifting-story-of-a-determined-trio-who-improved-health-care-in-poor-nations/>
by
lisaparavisini <http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/>

[image: Screen Shot 2017-10-21 at 9.38.55 PM.png]
A report by Erin Blakemore for the *Washington Post*.
<https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/the-uplifting-story-of-a-determined-trio-who-improved-health-care-in-poor-nations/2017/10/20/6478af2a-b4ce-11e7-a908-a3470754bbb9_story.html?utm_term=.4618d20f5293>

Does the arc of the moral universe really bend toward justice, as American
abolitionist Theodore Parker famously said?

It didn’t look that way when Paul Farmer, a young medical student, first
visited Haiti in 1983. Haiti was impoverished, racked with preventable
diseases and lacking in the most basic treatment facilities.

But Farmer began to bend that arc with two friends, activist Ophelia Dahl
and physician Jim Yong Kim. They started to push the international
community to care about medical treatment in developing nations.

Their efforts — and their sometimes breathtaking triumphs — are the subject
of a new documentary by Kief Davidson and Pedro Kos, “Bending the Arc
<http://bendingthearcfilm.com/>.” Using still photos, historical footage
and interviews, the film follows the trio as they transform from
inexperienced idealists to international health advocates.

“Bending the Arc” could give in to syrupy sentiment or overlook the actual
people the trio pledged to treat, but it does not. It tells the stories of
the patients. In what might be the film’s most moving sequence, Kim, now
president of the World Bank, breaks down when presented with old footage of
a former patient — a Peruvian man who nearly died of tuberculosis — and a
recent interview in which he is seen to be healthy and thriving.

There are bumps along the way. Some of the documentary’s most maddening
moments involve the international community’s dismissal of the idea of
providing better health care in under­developed nations. Officials rely on
stereotypes and tired excuses to justify brushing off entire groups of
people. Logistical barriers make it hard to get treatment to enough poor
people.

Ultimately, though, “Bending the Arc” is not a tale of despair and death.
Over three decades, Farmer’s quest to treat Haitians evolved into something
bigger. Partners in Health, the organization he founded with his friends,
established a global framework to empower communities to treat
tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
*lisaparavisini <http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/>* |
October 21, 2017 at 9:41 pm | Categories: News
<http://repeatingislands.com/category/news/> | URL: http://wp.me/psnTa-yht

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