April 3, 2005: Headlines: COS - Cameroon: Medicine: Parade magazine: Dr. Michael Rich joined the Peace Corps after college and went to Cameroon

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Cameroon: Peace Corps Cameroon: The Peace Corps in Cameroon: April 3, 2005: Headlines: COS - Cameroon: Medicine: Parade magazine: Dr. Michael Rich joined the Peace Corps after college and went to Cameroon

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Dr. Michael Rich joined the Peace Corps after college and went to Cameroon

Dr. Michael Rich joined the Peace Corps after college and went to Cameroon

Dr. Michael Rich joined the Peace Corps after college and went to Cameroon

'Because We Can, We Do'

By Tracy Kidder
Parade magazine
April 3, 2005

Despite its abstract-sounding name, this program's mission is plain: to bring the best of modern Western medicine to sick people in some of the poorest parts of the world. Twenty doctors work with the Division. They treat patients and help to train local doctors in Peru, in Haiti, in Russia's prisons-and some of them work right next door in one of Boston's own poor neighborhoods.

"The Division was founded in response to the growing disparity in health between the rich and poor," explains Dr. Howard Hiatt, a former dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, now a professor of medicine at Harvard. Hiatt helped to launch the new program, which relies mainly on private donations. He was inspired, he says, by the example of two doctors whom he once mentored-Paul Farmer, 45, the head of the Division, and Jim Yong Kim, 45. Farmer and various friends opened a clinic in the desperately impoverished central plateau of Haiti, where they showed that the entire range of human ailments-including AIDS and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis-could be treated in some of the most difficult settings imaginable. Two years later, Dr. Farmer and others created a public charity called Partners In Health. (Dr. Kim later joined the team.) Building on their experience in Haiti, they have created projects elsewhere that seem to be changing the world's view of what is possible in medicine and public health.

While there are other programs at U.S. medical schools that deal with global health, what distinguishes the Division is its affiliation with Partners In Health, which allows its doctors to care for patients in Haiti, Russia and Peru.


Dr. Michael Rich, now 42, joined the Peace Corps after college and went to Cameroon. There he saw children dying of infectious diseases he knew could have been treated easily in a more prosperous place. He resolved to become a doctor and to work in impoverished locales. Lately, he has spent most of his time working in the prisons of Siberia, rife with drug-resistant TB, daily facing the sort of desperate situation at which the world is inclined to shrug. But, Dr. Rich points out, this has always been the case: "In 1762, Jean Jacques Rousseau wrote, 'Half of all children die by their eighth birthday. This is nature's law. Do not try to contradict it.' Well, we contradict it every day, and by contradicting it, we prove that the world is not fatalistic. I don't believe that there is nothing we can do about the 8000 people who die of AIDS every day. We can greatly reduce poverty, suffering and sickness."

When this story was posted in April 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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The Peace Corps Library Date: March 27 2005 No: 536 The Peace Corps Library
Peace Corps Online is proud to announce that the Peace Corps Library is now available online. With over 30,000 index entries in 500 categories, this is the largest collection of Peace Corps related stories in the world. From Acting to Zucchini, you can find hundreds of stories about what RPCVs with your same interests or from your Country of Service are doing today. If you have a web site, support the "Peace Corps Library" and link to it today.

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RPCVs: Post your stories or press releases here for inclusion next week.

RPCVs and Friends remember Pope John Paul II Date: April 3 2005 No: 550 RPCVs and Friends remember Pope John Paul II
Tony Hall found the pope to be courageous and capable of forgiving the man who shot him in 1981, Mark Gearan said the pope was as dynamic in person as he appears on television, Maria Shriver said he was a beacon of virtue, strength and goodness, and an RPCV who met the pope while serving in the Solomon Islands said he possessed the holiness of a man filled with a deep love and concern for humanity. Leave your thoughts here.

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170,000 is a very special number for the RPCV community - it's the number of Volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961. It's also a number that is very special to us because March is the first month since our founding in January, 2001 that our readership has exceeded 170,000. And while we know that not everyone who comes to this site is an RPCV, they are all "Friends of the Peace Corps." Thanks everybody for making PCOL your source of news for the Returned Volunteer community.

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Story Source: Parade magazine

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Cameroon; Medicine



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