Thu. Jan 23rd, 2020

The shortage of medicines in Venezuelan hospitals persists, an NGO warns

The main hospitals in Venezuela continue to face the shortage of medicines, the failures of public services and equipment, although the supply of medicines showed a "slight improvement" after the entry of humanitarian aid to the country, according to the NGO Doctors for health.

The entity, which since 2014 presents reports on the conditions of more than 100 health centers in the country, points out in its most recent National Hospital Survey that at least in the last six months "the general shortage figure is always close to 50%" , although since February it began to decrease.

In the study, which covers the period from November 2018 to July 2019, it is found that the shortage of medicines does not affect all regions of the country to the same extent, since, for example, in Caracas "the shortage it ranges between 8% and 28%. "

In the interior of the country, the situation is different and it is the case that the shortages percentages are between 80% and 90% in the states of Amazonas (south), Cojedes (center), Monagas (east) and in the Western Trujillo, Merida and Barinas.

Thus, while in the emergency services of the Dr. Pedro Emilio Carrillo de Trujillo hospital, 90.31% of the medical material is missing, in the JM of the Rivers of Caracas the missing is 7.92%.

According to the report, "a slight improvement in the supply of emergencies" was evident, from 49.7% of lack of medicines to 43.3%.

"One of the possible explanations for this slight improvement is the distribution of the IEHK (Interagency Emergency Health Kit) to different hospitals, by institutions such as the Red Cross and Red Crescent and different UN agencies, within the framework of the opening of humanitarian aid, "says the report.

The NGO notes that they have not been able to verify the impact of humanitarian aid from China and Russia because there is no further information on its distribution.

It is very probable, precise Doctors by the Health, that in "hospitals with less complexity have higher rates of shortage", since the health centers in which they do the monitoring are the most important and, therefore, they are also usually Priorities at the time of delivery of supplies.

In the case of public hospital operating rooms, the shortage rate is 34.10%, "a figure not very different from 34.60% in November," they warn.

Venezuelan hospitals have not been oblivious to the public services crisis. In 70.8% of the centers they received water intermittently and on average they spent 6.8 hours a week without electricity during the month of July.

"Between March and April there were at least 32 deaths due to power outages across the country," says the report, which states that these are "deaths that could have been avoided if supplies or services function optimally." .

"Absolutely none of the indicators show hospitals in normal conditions, or at least optimal for the basic care that a health center should provide," the survey concludes.

(tagsToTranslate) Persist (t) medicines (t) hospitals (t) Venezuelans (t) NGOs

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