Reports: Venezuelan Hospitals Keeping Newborns in Cardboard Boxes Due To Supply Shortages

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Sep 25, 2016 9:00 PM
Reports: Venezuelan Hospitals Keeping Newborns in Cardboard Boxes Due To Supply Shortages

The Venezuelan heath care system is a total disaster. The lack of supplies, like soap and gloves, has caused the state of its hospital system to resemble something out of the 19th century, according to reports on the ground. The rolling blackouts have caused newborn deaths to spike in the maternity wards. Women are lining up to be sterilized rather risk becoming pregnant and raising children in such abject conditions. Now, the supply shortage has become so egregious that newborns are reportedly being placed in cardboard boxes. Keep in mind, these photos have not been verified yet, but if true—it shows how bad conditions have worsened since news organizations started reporting intermittently about the collapse of Venezuela (via CNN):

The images show newborn babies in cardboard boxes, lined up on a counter.

A hospital employee took the photos, according to the opposition group that released them.

Venezuela's opposition says the photos of the babies show a health care system in crisis.

The images purportedly were taken at the government-run Domingo Guzmán Lander Hospital in the coastal city of Barcelona, about 315 kilometers (195 miles) east of Caracas

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Authorities are investigating, according to the government official who runs the institute that oversees the Barcelona hospital and others across the country.

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According to statistics released by the Venezuelan Pharmaceutical Federation in June, the country is facing a shortage of more than 80% of the medicines doctors need. And more than 13,000 doctors -- about 20% of the country's medical workforce, have left the country in recent years due to the collapse of the health sector.

Besides the medical sector, looting has become rampant among Venezuelans struggling to survive. Food has become in short supply as well, with people eating out of trashcans and supermarkets being cleared out. In some cases, Venezuelans have broken into zoos and killed animals for meat. It’s a horrific situation in a country that prided itself in being an example of so-called 21st Century Socialism.