The Convite Civil Association reported that the availability of medicines has increased in Venezuela during the last four years but that they are not affordable for the population. The organization presented the results of its Health Monitor project this September 21, providing data on the state of the health system between 2019 and August 2023.
Conway Health Monitor’s Drug Shortage Index (MSI) indicated that 60% of drug shortages were recorded in 2019. This percentage is expected to decline to 58.8% in 2020, 45.2% in 2021, 35.8% in 2022, and by August 2023, Venezuela will have a 27.5% shortage of medicines.
Despite the shortages decreasing, Convitte explained that just because medications are more widely available, it doesn’t mean that people who need them can access them. The reason for this is the low wages received by the workers of the country and the high prices of medicines.
“The purchasing power of the Venezuelan people was destroyed. We have the products but not everyone can buy them. This is leading to measures that may be countering, but are negative,” said Yanireth Fernandez, Convite’s research coordinator.
The Convict Health Monitor study also determined the shortage of contraceptive methods in 17 states of the country during the study period.
As of 2020, there was a 68.1% shortage of contraceptive methods (IUDs, pills or barrier methods). By August 2023, this percentage decreased to 48% in the country.
According to information presented by Convict Health Monitor, like medicines, people have difficulty purchasing contraceptive methods due to shortages and high prices.
Another aspect studied by the Health Monitor was the epidemiological event in the country. Through the Alternative Epidemiological Surveillance System (SAME), created in 2021, the organization collected data on diseases notable due to the state’s ambiguity on the issue.
Epidemiologist Andres Barreto described the diseases studied and the cases recorded in eight states of the country between July 2021 and July 2023.
3,254 cases of dengue with and without warning signs were recorded in the states of Tachira and Mérida. In terms of malaria, 2,268 cases were recorded, mainly in Delta Amacuro (with 1,725 cases) and Mérida state.
In this surveillance, the incidence of other diseases such as diarrhea, amoebiasis, drug-transmitted diseases (TAD), bacterial meningitis, tuberculosis, diphtheria among others was studied.
Rates of sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis, HIV, HIV/AIDS, candidiasis and trichomoniasis were also taken into account. At this point, the doctor emphasized the concern arising from the increase in congenital syphilis (transmitted from mother to child) (500 cases between Tachira and Zulia) because this showed that mothers had not received proper prenatal care.,