HOUSTON, March 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Simón Bolívar Foundation Inc., a 501 (c)(3) non-profit private foundation, has presented results from a recent report on the health crisis in Venezuela, aiming to help guide humanitarian health programs and provide updated, objective and reliable data. The report was prepared by researchers at the Center for Humanitarian Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
There are significant challenges to understanding the health situation in Venezuela given the difficulty in obtaining accurate health information and laboratory and testing capacity data. Most notably, no official data has been released since 2017. The report states that the political and economic crisis over the past five years has severely crippled Venezuela's health system. In addition, the situation has been exacerbated by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a review of available information and data from 2019 to late 2021, the report reveals the following on the current health situation in Venezuela:
- Life expectancy in Venezuela has declined, and rates of both child and maternal mortality have increased which contrasts with regional trends.
- Vaccination coverage in Venezuela is well below the regional average, with a resurgence of many vaccine-preventable diseases, most notably measles.
- Venezuela's health infrastructure is crumbling, with more than 70% of public hospitals without regular access to water or electricity, inadequate supplies of medication and essential supplies and the loss of many health workers.
- More than 90% of the population is living in poverty and 32% of children have chronic malnutrition.
- There are an estimated 14.3 million people in Venezuela in need of humanitarian assistance. The United Nations 2020 humanitarian response plan required $763 million in aid, but by August 2020 only $130 million in assistance had been provided.
Key recommendations from the report include that health investments should prioritize:
- Investing in new cadres of on the ground health workers that require less extensive training and can provide critical services at the community and primary level;
- Prioritizing adequate supplies and medication for essential primary and preventative care;
- Focusing on raising levels of coverage and service provision capacity for maternal and child health, nutrition, sexual and reproductive health, non-communicable diseases, and mental health; and
- Addressing widespread gaps in access and investing in primary care at the facility and community levels.
This report was presented as part of a webinar series sponsored by the Simón Bolívar Foundation and organized by the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, "Lunchtime Conversations: A Learning Opportunity for Funders," aimed at raising awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. You can watch the webinars here.
The report demonstrates that we can help mitigate the ongoing crisis in Venezuela through the coordination of collective efforts. The Foundation will soon be announcing a public call for grant proposals for the Foundation's Integral Maternal, Neonatal and Childhood Health Care Grant Program.
Please visit simonbolivarfoundation.org for more information.
About The Simón Bolívar Foundation
Simón Bolívar Foundation Inc. is the 501(c)(3) non-profit, 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 The Simón Bolívar Foundation