The Deputy Minister of Collective Health Networks, Yassin Aleman, attended on Wednesday the patients who for the first time massively went to protest at the headquarters of the Ministry of Health, which is located in Plaza Caracas, in the center of the city.
Surrounded by five bodyguards, he told three patients’ representatives that the government had paid “part of the debt” to the Pan American Health Organization, but that they had to decide whether to compare medicines for transplant recipients or those living with HIV.
“They showed that they have no way of responding to the size of the health crisis there is,” said Francisco Valencia, president of Codevida.
Although patients with HIV, transplant and Parkinson’s disease demanded that the Minister of Health, Luis Lopez, meet with human rights activists to give answers about when their medicines will arrive to ensure their treatments, the official never arrived.
Each organization left a statement in which they demand the supply of medicines, and expose their deficiencies, so that within 24 hours, at the latest, the Health Office will communicate with them to schedule a meeting. Otherwise, the next demonstration would be at the gates of Miraflores.
“Despair was shown before the situation. We are reaching dangerous rates. People will do anything to get the treatment and are willing to get to Miraflores, “said Valencia.
Valencia recalled that receiving 8 tons of medicines from Russia to provide 10 hospitals in the country is part of a humanitarian aid that the government accepted; But representatives of 10 other countries, with whom human rights activists have had meetings, are willing to invest money to provide Venezuela with medicines for patients with chronic diseases.
The president of Codevida also reported that the 300,000 tablets of the immunosuppressant that came through the Strategic Fund of PAHO the first week of March have not been delivered to the High Cost Pharmacy of the Venezuelan Social Security Institute and demanded that the irregularity.
Valencia delivered a statement in which he reminded the Ministry of Health that in the first quarter of the year there were 67 organ rejections and 3 people died. They urged the ministry to “desist from the denial, omission and manipulation conducts on the serious shortage of the sanitary system on a national scale”.
The president of the Manos Amigas for AIDS Foundation, Eduardo Franco, traveled from the state of Carabobo to Caracas to demand the purchase of antiretrovirals. A shortage of medications has persisted for 7 months, causing patients who live with the virus to decompensate fatally for the first time in 20 years. The NGO reports in Carabobo 62 deaths linked to the shortage of drugs so far this year.
At this time there are only 5 of the 23 drugs that are used. All are supplied combined and most do not have their supplements to be prescribed.
“Neither omission nor manipulation”
Immediately undertake all the necessary measures so that the medicines required by chronic patients can enter the country is one of Codevida’s motions in the communication that he delivered last Wednesday to the Deputy Minister of Collective Health Networks, Yassin Aleman.
“Nephrologists are hand-tied to the rejection of organs of people who come to transplant centers and hospitals in the country,” warns the text in which the government is asked to “understand the need to take action.”
The representatives of the chronically ill request “to desist from denial, omission and manipulation conducts on the serious shortage that compromises the national and international responsibilities of the State with the right to health”.