Venezuela’s Economic Crisis Takes A Deadly Toll On Babies

Infant deaths, cases of malaria and maternal mortality increase drastically due to shortage of medicines and basic life saving equipments at public hospitals in Venezuela.

Amid one of the worst economic crises, high inflation, food shortage, medical shortage and deadly protests, Venezuela faces a soaring rise in deaths of babies.  The economic crisis takes a heavy toll on public health care.

According to government data, Venezuela’s infant mortality rose 30% last year, maternal mortality shot up 65% and cases of malaria jumped 76%, all the increases reflect on how the country’s citizens live with the brunt of a deep economic crisis.

New official data showed said deaths of infants under the age of one soared by 30 per cent in 2016, this was the year when hospitals and protesters complained of severe shortages of medical supplies.

Maternity deaths increased by two-thirds meanwhile, according to the data published by the ministry. It said 11,466 babies died in 2016, up from 8,812 the year before. This means the deaths have upped by 30 percent. Cases of malaria rose by 76 percent to more than 240,000.

By 2016, the country faced a shortage of more than 80% of the medicines needed by doctors. In recent years, more than 13,000 doctors left the country as the health sector crumbled and collapsed.

"If you need to have an operation, nowadays, you must bring your own medicines to the hospital," explained Eugenia Morin, a 59-year old the housewife who protested against the government last week. "There are no supplies to attend the most basic emergencies."

The situation has only worsened with the passage of time.

Currently, Venezuela doesn't even have the basic medical supplies or equipment to treat simple injuries.  As the citizens suffer, President Nicolas Maduro continues to crush the citizen to maintain a grip on power.

 Thumbnail/Banner Credit: Reuters , Reuters

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