“Hundreds of Venezuelan women in an advanced state of pregnancy, and with serious risks to their health and that of their children, are reaching the emergency health center set up by Save the Children on the border with Colombia to receive the care they need and that they can hardly find in their country due to the nearly collapsing health system. “To denounce the odyssey of future mothers in the South American country is the same NGO that” since April, when the organization’s clinic came into operation “, it has assisted” 792 Venezuelan women before and after childbirth “.
“In many cases – say from Save the Children – these are women who in the second or third trimester of pregnancy, even after complications related to strenuous work who were carrying out in Venezuela, had to face the risky journey to reach Colombia, often having to leave their families at home and without having a place to stay once they reached their destination “. % had high-risk pregnancies, with more than half suffering from anemia due to the lack of nutritious and affordable food in Venezuela, a country abandoned by more than 4 million people in the wake of political and economic turmoil “.
And “for other women and girls – continues Save the Children – the risks derive from sexually transmitted diseases, such as syphilis and papillomavirus infections. In Venezuela, moreover, inflation has increased by over 1 million percent, preventing the majority of the population from being able to afford the purchase of most of the contraceptives in the last 5 years “.
“What is happening in Venezuela has hit us very hard – testifies Ana, 26, ‘fled’ to Colombia in the seventh month of pregnancy, leaving two girls at home – Separating ourselves from our families is not easy at all and now we have no more tears to shed. I had to leave my country during my pregnancy because there I couldn’t get the necessary care and didn’t have enough resources. But I am very sad, because due to what is happening in Venezuela I cannot take care of my children. As soon as I arrived, I was hospitalized because mine was a high-risk pregnancy. I had kidney stones and very low hemoglobin levels. Thank God they gave me a transfusion and I received all the care I needed. “
“About a fifth of all pregnant women we meet in our center are girls under the age of 18 and that to get here in many cases they had to leave almost everything they had, including documents – he explains Maria Paula Martinez, Director of Save the Children in Colombia – This means that their access to healthcare is extremely limited, which only further exacerbates the risks to themselves and their unborn children. We are talking about highly vulnerable women and children who, in addition to not receiving the necessary health care, often cannot have nutritious food or a safe place to live. We therefore ask the Colombian government – this is Martinez’s appeal – to allocate more resources for migrant children from Venezuela, guarantee access to quality health services and promote respect for the rights of Venezuelan migrants “.
To respond to “ever greater needs”, the Save the Children’s Emergency Clinic has also equipped itself with aSexual and Reproductive Health Unit in Macau, near the border with Venezuela, which provides pre- and post-natal care, mental health services, support for survivors of gender-based violence and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.