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Venezuela’s Economic Meltdown, Health System Collapse Causing Disease Resurgence Domestically, In Neighboring Nations

Wall Street Journal: Venezuela’s Health Crisis Is Crossing the Border
“Contagion from Venezuela’s economic meltdown is starting to spread to neighboring countries — not financially, but literally, in the form of potentially deadly diseases carried among millions of refugees. The collapse of Venezuela’s health system has turned what was once Latin America’s richest nation into an incubator for malaria, yellow fever, diphtheria, dengue, and tuberculosis, as well as the virus that causes AIDS, medical officials in Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela told the Wall Street Journal…” (Magalhaes et al., 10/31).

Washington Post: ‘Venezuela’s crisis has become our own’
“…Venezuela’s health care system has virtually broken down, allowing once-eradicated illnesses such as measles and diphtheria to reemerge in a population facing acute shortages of food and medicine. Now, a historic outflow of migrants is helping spread infections to other countries. … Hospitals in countries that border Venezuela, particularly Colombia and Brazil, are already overwhelmed by a surge of sick Venezuelans, seeking treatment for grave illnesses from cancer to HIV that their home nation is increasingly unable to treat. The [Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)] said in a statement that Venezuela’s health care system — including disease-prevention programs — had been continually deteriorating because of economic and political problems…” (Faiola et al., 10/31).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.