Poor Governance, Violence, Breakdown Of Public Services Led Venezuela Into Public Health Crisis
The Conversation: Venezuela’s soaring murder rate has plunged the nation into a public health crisis
José Manuel Aburto, PhD candidate at the Interdisciplinary Center on Population Dynamics at the University of Southern Denmark, and Jenny Garcia, PhD candidate at the Institut National d’Études Démographiques (INED)
“Over the past three decades, Venezuela has shifted from being a peaceful country to one of the most violent nations in the world. Decades of poor governance have driven what was once one of Latin America’s most prosperous countries to economic and political ruin. The violent confrontations between anti-government demonstrators and forces loyal to president Nicolás Maduro in recent days, alongside the systemic breakdown of public services, have plunged Venezuela’s population into a public health crisis. … Venezuela’s future does not look promising. Outbreaks of political violence have intensified recently … What’s more, severe shortages of food and medical supplies, and the total collapse of the public health system, have left Venezuelans unable to feed their families or access … basic health care. Infant and maternal mortality has increased again, and infectious and parasitic diseases, such as malaria, measles, and diphtheria, have re-emerged. The acute impacts of political and socioeconomic disintegration on mortality rates since 2013 … have yet to be measured. Public institutions in Venezuela have been forced to follow a strict policy of secrecy, and mortality and health data sources have not been updated, nor made publicly available since 2013. The stagnation in life expectancy found up to that year is likely to turn to decline, as this humanitarian crisis worsens” (5/10).