HOUSTON , Sept. 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Simón Bolívar Foundation Inc., the 501(c)(3) private foundation of CITGO Petroleum Corporation, has entered into a grant agreement with FundaHígado América, a registered 501(c)(3) organization.

Responding to a crisis of transplant availability, insufficient post-operation follow-up and immunosuppressants in Venezuela, the $138,850 grant will fund a specific number of follow-up appointments, lab testing and immunosuppressant medication, which could potentially benefit approximately 52 Venezuelan liver transplant recipients over six months. The grant will be implemented by Fundahígado Venezuela, which will provide services to patients in financial need. In addition, Fundahígado America will create an educational module that will help build treatment capacity in Venezuela. 

This initiative is consistent with the Foundation's revised mission of providing grants to qualified charitable and other organizations that help improve the health of vulnerable people affected by the complex, ongoing humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, with special attention to mothers and children. Specifically, this charitable program will enable medical services to be provided to more liver patients in need in Venezuela. As a pilot program, it could also be expanded to benefit more patients and, ultimately, rebuild the country's capacity to perform liver transplants in the future. 

A recent study published by researchers the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health indicates that "liver transplants for vulnerable populations have not occurred in Venezuela since 2017 and, since then, three new transplants have been carried out under the fundraising modality. Additionally, the study stated that the availability of immunosuppressants is very limited and, when available, is too expensive for many patients at an estimated $700/month…"

"This generous grant gives us a much-needed opportunity to reestablish transplant capacities and care for post-transplant patients," said a spokesperson for FundaHígado América. "Fundahígado is pleased to collaborate with the Simón Bolívar Foundation in helping to alleviate the impact of this crisis on underserved Venezuelan patients." 

About FundaHígado América:

Established in 2000, la Fundación Programa Metropolitano de Trasplante de Hígado "Fundahígado", performed the first liver transplant procedures in Venezuela, bringing a life-giving procedure to an underserved population. The program's success led to the founding of FundaHígado América in 2011, a registered 501(c)(3) organization, which promotes the training of healthcare professionals in other underserved regions of the Americas to make effective liver disease treatment more widely accessible. 

About The Simón Bolívar Foundation :

Simón Bolívar Foundation Inc. is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit, private foundation of CITGO Petroleum Corporation. The Foundation supports charitable initiatives, leverages existing resources and provides charitable grants to qualified organizations to meet the immediate and long-term health needs of the most vulnerable individuals, particularly in and from Venezuela with a special focus on the health and well-being of children and their mothers. 

SOURCE CITGO Corporation