Across the country, MSF teams rehabilitate hospitals and health posts, distributing medical supplies to facilities and patients, rebuilding water and sanitation systems, and training staff.
We also offer general healthcare – including vaccinations and sexual and reproductive services – to people in Anzoátegui state and in Caracas, the capital.
Between March and November 2020, we also responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing treatment to patients in Ana Francisca Pérez de León II hospital, in Caracas; following restrictions, we were forced to withdraw in November.
Our activities in 2020 in Venezuela
Data and information from the International Activity Report 2020.
Hospitals across the country lack staff, supplies, equipment and basic services such as water. In 2020, despite the complications caused by COVID-19, MSF continued to provide healthcare for vulnerable people in 38 public health facilities in seven states: Amazonas, Anzoátegui, Bolívar, Miranda, Sucre, Táchira and Capital District. In addition, we gave technical support, such as assistance with surveillance, setting up isolation areas and triage systems, and strengthening the emergency response, to public health facilities as needed.
Most of our work focused on strengthening general and specialist healthcare, including sexual and reproductive health and vaccinations. Health promotion and mental health support were also available in all our projects. We distributed medicines to patients and health facilities, trained healthcare workers and upgraded the infrastructure of health facilities, by improving waste disposal, water distribution and sanitation.
In Bolívar and Sucre, two of the Venezuelan states with the highest levels of malaria, we continued to run prevention and treatment programmes, including early diagnosis and vector control. This resulted in a considerable reduction in cases in 2020 (40 per cent in Bolívar and 50 per cent in Sucre, in the areas we were working in).
As part of our response to the pandemic, in Petare, Caracas, we set up a dedicated COVID-19 hospital wing, with a triage circuit for patients requiring medical and psychological care. We also implemented a triage system to handle possible COVID-19 cases in the health centres where we work across the country. In the border state of Táchira, we assisted hundreds of Venezuelan returnees from Colombia, and supported healthcare workers in installing water and sanitation systems and a medical laboratory in COVID-19 quarantine centres.