Diseases surge in Venezuela as health system languishes

Venezuela’s health system is in “utter collapse,” according to a report, including the exponential spread of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles and diphtheria and “dramatic surges” in infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis.

The report, to be released Thursday by Human Rights Watch and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, is among the few that has sought to quantify Venezuela’s misery, as the country has ceased releasing health and nutrition data and retaliated against those who did.

Based on interviews with doctors and other health personnel in Venezuela, conducted by telephone and online; refugees in Colombia and Brazil, including health care professionals; and representatives of humanitarian and international organizations, the report concludes that the United Nations should take the lead providing aid.

It calls on U.N. Secretary General António Guterres to spearhead efforts to declare a complex humanitarian emergency, an official designation that would trigger a major, comprehensive effort under U.N. auspices and unlock the mobilization of international resources.

Humanitarian aid to Venezuela has been slow, compared with the need, because of the intransigence of President Nicolás Maduro – who has blamed deprivations on U.S. sanctions and refused to allow anything beyond a trickle of assistance to enter the country – and the reluctance of some donors Read more: https://www.thetelegraph.com/news/article/Diseases-surge-in-Venezuela-as-health-system-13740280.php

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