In May 2016, the New York Times published a story, Dying Infants and No Medicine: Inside Venezuela’s Failing Hospitals. It chronicled the economic struggles in recent years in Venezuela and the devastating impact they’ve had on a collapsing health system as well as the failure of the government to provide adequate health care to its vulnerable populations, especially women and children.
A government report found the mortality among babies under a month old increased more than a hundredfold in public hospitals between 2012 and 2015. The rate of death among new mothers in those hospitals increased by almost five times in the same period, according to the same report. To make matters worse, the Venezuelan government has continued to refuse humanitarian aid from outside sources.
Last summer, MedShare received a visit from the Pirona family. Dr. Maria Pirona serves as the Director of the Wesley Medical Center, located in Cabudare, Venezuela.