Home NewsNational Former U.S President Bill Clinton Mourns Dr. Paul Farmer

Former U.S President Bill Clinton Mourns Dr. Paul Farmer

by Edmund Kagire
10:06 am

The passing of Dr. Paul Farmer has left many devastate.More Tributes continue to pour in for deceased U.S physician and philanthropist, Dr. Paul Farmer, who succumbed to a heart attack, on Monday, February 21, in his Butaro Hospital Apartment in Burera district, in Rwanda’s Northern Province.

President Paul Kagame led the tributes  of Prof. Farmer, who was described as a true friend of Rwanda and a kind man whose actions touched millions of people across the globe.

Former U.S President Bill Clinton, his wife Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea joined other high-profile individuals to mourn Dr. Farmer, a co-founder of Partners in Health (PiH), chancellor of the Global University of Health Equity (UGHE) and co-founder of Butaro Cancer Centre of Excellence, among other health initiatives he led.

Full Statement:

“Chelsea, Hillary, and I are devastated by the sudden passing of our dear friend Dr. Paul Farmer. Paul was one of the most extraordinary people we have ever known. His pioneering work with Partners In Health touched millions of lives, advanced global health equity, and fundamentally changed the way health care is delivered in the most impoverished places on Earth,”

“He was brilliant, passionate, kind, and humble. He saw every day as a new opportunity to teach, learn, give, and serve—and it was impossible to spend any amount of time with him and not feel the same.”

“Our family is profoundly grateful to have benefited from his many gifts for more than 20 years, going back to the time Chelsea read his work at Stanford, reached out to him, and gained his mentorship and friendship. We are forever honored to have worked closely with him in Haiti, Rwanda, and beyond; to serve alongside him on the board of the Clinton Health Access Initiative; and to be counted among his multitude of friends around the globe.”

“Paul’s passing is an immense loss to the world, but we know his spirit will live on through the incredible work of Partners In Health and all its partners, the many people who were inspired, as we were, by his example, and everyone who is living a healthier life today because he lived and served.”

Our thoughts are with Paul’s wife, Didi; their children, Catherine, Elisabeth, and Sebastian; his mother, Ginny; his entire family; and all the people who worked with him, learned with him, served with him, and loved him.

Heart Attack

According to Wall Street Journal, Dr. Farmer, 62, succumbed to a sudden cardiac event in his apartment in Butaro where he had been since December, working on training program for oncologist. The Harvard University physician, anthropologist and global public-health leader, spent decades working in Rwanda where he worked closely with the Government of Rwanda to establish Butaro Hospital and UGHE.

According to Dr. Sheila Davis, the Chief Executive Officer of the Partners in Health, Dr. Farmer died on Monday “of a sudden cardiac event while sleeping in his apartment on the campus of a university he had helped to establish in rural Butaro, Rwanda,”

He had been in the country since December, teaching Rwandan medical students at UGHE and caring for patients on rounds at the hospital. On Sunday, Dr. Farmer had sent a message to his staff expressing his excitement about what he was doing with the new generation of medical doctors he was helping to train.

“He was so excited about what he was seeing there. He was doing what he loved,” Dr. Davis said.

Dr. Paul Farmer was in Rwanda working on a training programme for Oncologists in Butaro.

It was also revealed that Dr. Farmer was due to leave Rwanda at the end of this week to spend a couple of weeks in Liberia and Sierra Leone before returning to the U.S.

President Kagame, who was a personal friend of Dr. Farmer, led the tributes, stating that there were no words to describe the loss, adding that his family was devastated by the news.

Others global leaders who joined in mourning Dr. Farmer include the Director General of World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Tedros and Melinda French Gates, among others.



On Sunday, February 20, Dr. Farmer had written to his team expressing his excitement about what he was doing with the young aspiring doctors.

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