As socialism thrives in Venezuela, breast Cancer patients struggle over medicine shortages
Venezuelans challenge shortages to survive breast cancer.
In 2018 alone, about 4,700 women in Venezuela became ill with breast cancer, according to the Anticancer Society of Venezuela (SAV). However, since 2012 the Ministry of Health does not offer official figures.
Grecia Solís is 49 years old, and after being diagnosed with breast cancer she had to raise money between family and friends to undergo the operation in a private clinic. It was his way of circumventing the lack of supplies in the public hospital of Venezuela.
“It hurts not to know if you can say‘ I am a cancer survivor, ’” Solís recently told La Voz de América. She had been diagnosed in September 2017. Because of her condition, doctors recommended surgery, and then chemotherapy and radiotherapy. He said that “due to the country situation, the lack of supplies, raw materials and reagents, it was impossible to operate in the hospital. I had to go to the good heart of my family and my friends, in order to raise the money for the operation “. She was finally operated in a private institution in May 2018. The surgery cost $ 500. For his chemotherapy, he had the financial help of his sister in Ecuador and the High Cost Pharmacy, belonging to the Social Security of the country. He completed eight sessions in December 2018. And that was when his ordeal began. Having cancer terrifies any patient suffering from this disease in Venezuela, due in part to the increasing risk of dying without treatment.
The shortage of medicines and the limited access to treatments, adds to the weight and pain that patients already carry. In 2018 alone, about 4,700 women in Venezuela became ill with breast cancer, according to the Anticancer Society of Venezuela (SAV). However, since 2012 the Ministry of Health does not offer official figures.
In 2018, SAV also registered 2,300 deaths from this type of cancer, this being one of the main causes of cancer death of Venezuelan women. According to the NGO SenosAyuda, in the country between 17 and 19 women are diagnosed with the disease daily. The treatments needed to fight cancer are becoming increasingly inaccessible in the face of the deepening of the humanitarian emergency.