The Venezuelan Embassy in Canada organized a meeting with Venezuelan medical professionals, in which they spoke about the current situation of COVID-19 in the world and in Venezuela, real data, scope and challenges. The presentations were in charge of Lic. Ana Contreras President of the College of Nursing of the Capital District of Venezuela; Dra. Marisabel Parada, Doctor in Health Psychology, Founder and President of Psychologists Without Borders in Venezuela and Dr. Carlos Gabriel Torres Viera Doctor in Medicine, Infectious Medicine Physician, Assistant Professor at Florida International University, Member of the South Florida Center for Infectious Diseases.
Lic. Contreras highlighted the urgent need to have more humanitarian support, medicines, beds, accessories, equipment, vaccines, to face the epidemic, as well as the human and material resources to enable hospitals.
Dr. Torres Viera warned about the precarious diagnostic capacity to prevent the virus and respond with effective prevention policies. Hospital preparation and status is nil. Where there is no water, electricity, medicine, antibiotics, beds, equipment, personnel, the monitoring has been primarily to exercise social control measures,” he pointed out.
They highlighted the gap in public policies where despite the exodus of doctors, the staff that remains in the country, which is very good and significant, were little incorporated into treatment of the emerncy.
“Creating a ‘national ozone center’ is irresponsible because it is unnecessary, and the “José Gregorio Hernández drops” an impudence, stressed the doctor.
Dr. Marisabel Parada reported on the psychology service founded by the NGO Psychologists Without Borders to attend to the mental breakdown pathologies already accumulated in the complex humanitarian emergency. Venezuela is behind Nigeria in terms of poverty and inequality. 4 million children without guaranteed education, 30% of malnourished children, 44% of the unemployed population and 72% of single women in households. Colleges and schools have neither sinks nor toilets. Medical and teacher dropouts are notorious. 6 million Venezuelans have left, where doctors and nurses are no exception, 80% of Venezuelans are in critical poverty. What has impacted the mental health of the Venezuelan the most is the loneliness of our mothers, of our women,” the Venezuelan psychologist reported.
Mixed depression and anxiety disorders lack treatment and care. Venezuelans are afraid of the present and the future, without basic services and ridiculous salaries.
“I can’t afford to get sick because I’m terrified of going to a public hospital and I can’t pay for a private clinic,” patients say.
Violence has increased, the family unit has been broken, and violence against children and gender has increased. There are no recreation spaces. There are no work or student plans. Teleworking has been very complex.
In this situation, it is recommended to show affection, tenderness, attention to the children; maintain emotional serenity, self-control, keep the family together, share the pain and take on our emotions with courage, but the Venezuelan is exhausted. Asking a mother to hold her strength up when she has broken her beds to use firewood for cooking is very painful.
The Ambassador closed with a reflection “It is not only the failure in the aspects of public healthcare, infrastructure, treatment, resources or mobility, but a citizen and cultural challenge: We must recover the family sense of being Venezuelan, share the pain of our people and the pride of being part of the nation. The rest, peace, justice, quality of life, Freedom, will come when we recover our identity,” declared Ambassador Viera-Blanco in Canada, at thesame time thanking the Venezuelan doctors for their brave and epic fight for the lives of our compatriots.
We will raise this reality to Canada, which will surely continue to collaborate firmly with the humanitarian emergency that Venezuela is experiencing, as it has solidly done so far.