Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Another section of hell in Venezuela

When was the last time you heard of someone having tuberculosis? It's been years, many years, for me. But in Venezuela it is becoming more and more prevalent. The government no longer releases health statistics, so you have to look elsewhere. But at two vital tuberculosis centers in Caracas, the capital, the share of new patients who tested positive for the disease increased 40 percent or more in the last year alone. In one hospital 5% of the adults evaluated from 2013 to 2015 had TB. The number went to 9% in 2017 and is now at 14%. This is happening in a country that once was among the most robust in the hemisphere, with the nation boasting one of the lowest rates of infection in Latin America. One doctor comments, “All these forms of tuberculosis that we forget about are starting to reappear.” And, the problem may spread to other countries as more and more Venezuelans flee the country. And as the Venezuelan health system has fallen apart, the government’s ability to respond to epidemics has collapsed.

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