Polio, a deadly and crippling infectious disease, has returned to Venezuela after almost 30 years.
The illness, caused by the Poliovirus, has been confirmed in a patient in the Venezuelan state of Delta Amacuro, The Telegraph reports
According to the Telegraph, Delta Amacuro is one of several Venezuelan states where cruicial vaccines are increasingly scarce following the collapse of the country’s socialized healthcare system implemented by dictator Hugo Chávez.
Besides polio, other diseases including “diphtheria, tuberculosis, measles, and malaria,” are infecting an increasing number of Venezuelans.
“The government is not approving the money for the vaccines,” said MP Manuela Bolivar, while speaking to The Telegraph.
“This situation is unfortunate but we saw it coming, because we’ve been denouncing for years that there are not enough vaccines,” she said.
The healthcare system in Venezuela has not been immune to the country’s economic downfall.
“The virus especially affects people in conditions of malnutrition and unvaccinated, as in this case,” said Doctor Jose Felix Oletta, a former Minister of Health.
Several healthcare professionals have fled the country, and basic medical supplies are hard to come by, according to Foreign Policy.
The Venezuelan regime continues to blame the United States for its economic woes and promises the rest of the world that the government is caring for its citizens. In May, a Venezuelan government representative guaranteed that “essential medicines” are being provided to the “most vulnerable sectors” during a presentation to the World Health Organization.