In the past Venezuela was admired for its healthcare system and public health infrastructure. Unfortunately, the past few years have changed that. There is now food insecurity with malnutrition, the health care system has collapsed and there has been a massive exodus of health care workers. Infant and maternal mortality have increased and infectious diseases previously controlled or eliminated have returned. The flow of people from Venezuela to neighbouring countries is affecting their rates of infectious diseases too. For example, the continent had controlled measles however between January and December of last year there were over 5,600 cases in Venezuela, more than 2,000 cases in Colombia and over 10,000 in Brazil. Those in Colombia and Brazil were linked with Venezuelan migrants. There have been 1,000 cases of diphtheria (another vaccine preventable disease essentially eliminated) since January 2018 in Venezuela. In 1961 WHO recognised Venezuela for eliminating malaria in densely populated areas. The past few years have seen a resurgence. Between 2015 and 2016, reported cases increased by over 75%, from 136 402 to 240 613. There is a severe shortage of antimalarials and control efforts have stopped. HIV and TB are other infectious diseases increasing and being taken by migrants to neighbouring countries. These two diseases need good medical care to treat patients and to reduce spread. The current situation is thus a huge crisis which needs urgent attention for the health of the region and of those who travel there .
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