The JM de Los Rios Children’s Hospital in Caracas is one of the country’s top medical facilities. And although the hospital employs some of the most skilled surgeons and doctors in the world, children are still dying.
Every part of Venezuelan society is touched by the desperate economic crisis according to recent report by El Venezolano. Quality healthcare for all citizens was a promise made during the revolution. That promise has fallen on deaf ears, and many children paying the ultimate price. The government is unable to supply the badly needed drugs for sick patients. Cancer medicines, anti-epileptic drugs and even antibiotics are near impossible to find.
Former chief of the hospital’s intensive care unit, Huniades Urbina, is a man on a mission. Him together with Mr. Osio have been attempting to expose the shortages at great personal risk. The corridors are lined with President Nicholas Maduro’s loyal militia. “The climate of fear is real. Anyone who dares to tell the truth is deemed disloyal and could be subject to arrest or worse,” says Urbina.
The country is in a state of emergency, says Urbina. “Everyone is poor. Even the doctors.” The paltry sum allotted by the government is not enough to live on, and most people are forced to purchase subsidized food.
A few people have turned to securing medications from underground organizations. “It’s the only thing people can do until things change,” said Urbina. International assistance is a possibility, but for now, Venezuelans are forced to secure drugs any way they can.