Colonization Fueled Ebola: Dr. Paul Farmer on “Fevers, Feuds & Diamonds” & Lessons from West Africa

We continue our conversation with medical anthropologist Dr. Paul Farmer, whose new book, “Fevers, Feuds, and Diamonds,” tells the story of his efforts to fight Ebola in 2014 and how the history of slavery, colonialism and violence in West Africa exacerbated the outbreak. “Care for Ebola is not rocket science,” says Dr. Farmer, who notes that doctors know how to treat sick patients. But the public health response was overwhelmingly focused not on care but containment, Dr. Farmer says, which “generated very painful echoes from colonial rule.”

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