The New Humanitarian Annual Report 2021

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Inside Venezuela's hidden healthcare crisis

Doctors risk suspension to speak out in rare hospital footage

(Kamilia Lahrichi/IRIN)

Venezuela is in the midst of a healthcare crisis caused by a crippling lack of state resources.

Medicines and basic hospital equipment are now in such short supply that doctors struggle to make diagnoses, let alone provide treatment. And yet, they continue to try to do their best for their patients, even as they lack the tools to deal with a resurgence of previously eradicated diseases such as malaria and diphtheria and rising maternal and infant mortality rates. Meanwhile, the government of President Nicolas Maduro has refused to lift a ban on international aid that could alleviate the crisis.

The government also restricts media access to public health facilities and penalises health workers who speak out. Hospitals have armed guards, and journalists caught inside face arrest. This film by freelance videographer Kamilia Lahrichi was only possible because of the bravery of the two doctors it documents and the risks taken by the journalist and her fixer.  

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