There is a deep medical crisis right now happening in Venezuela. There is an approximate 90% shortage in medicinal drugs being distributed to patients, rundown hospital infrastructure and a shortage of skilled doctors due to a vicious recession. Fed up with the state of the healthcare system, doctors in Venezuela have banded together and protested at WHO’s Caracas office this week to call for additional help and pressure the government. We first saw this news on Reuters.
Venezuelan health crisis unites doctors calling for more intervention from WHO
Chronic diseases are rampant in Venezuela, yet patients and sufferers right now have to forego treatment, even if they are suffering from highly dangerous diseases and conditions such as Diabetes and Cancer. Moreover, what used to be diseases which were managed are now returning, due to a lack of vaccines and antibiotics for the population. Doctors also claim that “malnutrition is rising“.
Government data published in May showed an increase of 65% in maternal mortality rate and 76% in malaria cases. There has not been any additional updates to May’s data since it was last published, and according to Reuters, the former health minister was fired from his job very shortly after the data was made public.
Latest protest by doctors seek to pressure the leftist government in providing more aid
In this latest protest held during the 29th Pan American Sanitary Conference, dozens of doctors and activists congregated at the regional office for WHO, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in a bid to influence action on the agency to drive pressure on the leftist government in Venezuela to provide more help and assistance to the healthcare system.
Dr. Rafael Muci commented that “This is an unlivable country, and no one is paying attention…“. He followed up and disclosed his monthly wage of just $8 at a state hospital.
Comments from WHO and the government take on a dismissive tone
Very unfortunately, comments from both PAHO and the government seem slightly disconnected with the operations from the ground. While PAHO highlighted recent help in supplying vaccines, it stressed that the organization’s main role was to provide “technical help” while the government claimed that activists are spreading panic and business elites are hiding medicines.
The real worry right now is that Venezuelans are utilizing all means to get help and medicines, through social media, foreign donations and even shouting against the current administration as they walk along the streets as mentioned by Sociologist Maria Angelica Casanova.
Something has to change, and we pray for the health of all Venezuelans.