Ongoing Health Crisis
Migration: And still they came – month after month, week after week, every day Venezuelans crossed the border (more than 5 million since 2015) driven by extreme food and medicine shortages, violence and political instability. An estimated 1.8 million migrants have gone to Colombia – many seeking better healthcare and economic opportunities.
Health Care: Pharmacies and hospitals in Venezuela have severe shortages of medicine and supplies and inadequate staffing as medical professionals leave the country. Even in locations where medical services are available in Venezuela, falling wages and hyperinflation have put medical care out of reach for many families. The collapse of the health care system has exacerbated health conditions for the migrant population with many going months without care. And now the coronoavirus global pandemic has added another challenge for access to health care as border crossings have been shut down.
Response: Americares has set up 10 clinics in eight departments in Colombia to meet the primary healthcare needs of migrants, some who may arrive with chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. In addition, the clinics are responding to the arrival of COVID-19, by providing clinic staff with critical personal protective equipment (PPE) and undertaking responsible social distancing measures.