September 18, 2019
Latest News

Venezuelan official blames US sanctions for health system woes

Geneva, May 22 (efe-epa).- Venezuela's health minister said here Wednesday that economic sanctions imposed by Washington are to blame for shortages of medicines and other health-care necessities in the oil-rich Andean nation.

"The principal health problem is the trade blockade on the part of the United States of which we are victims," Carlos Alvarado told a press conference in Geneva on the occasion of the annual assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The number of pharmaceutical firms with a presence in Venezuela has halved - from 50 to 25 - as a consequence of US sanctions against the leftist government, he said.

Alvarado added that at least 12 percent of the 5 billion euros ($5.57 billion) in Venezuelan government funds sitting frozen in US and European banks was earmarked to purchase vaccines from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

"Venezuela has not sat with its arms folded and has increased health cooperation with countries such as Cuba, Russia, China, Palestine, Iran and Turkey," as well as with the PAHO and the WHO, the minister said.

He said that he has met in Geneva with officials of the WHO and of the International Committee of the Red Cross to discuss ways to address shortages of medical goods in Venezuela.

While the talks with the Red Cross were about increasing deliveries of antibiotics and hospital anesthetics, his meeting with PAHO Director-General Carissa Etienne focused on "the possible purchase of raw materials to produce medications in Venezuela," Alvarado said.

The minister acknowledged increases in the incidence of measles and diphtheria in Venezuela, though he said that no new outbreaks of those illnesses had been reported in the last month.

He denied the existence of cholera in his country and said that the only outbreak of malaria was limited to the state of Bolivar, which borders Brazil and Guyana.

No hospital patients died as a result of recent protracted nationwide power blackouts in Venezuela, Alvarado said.

Lack of access to medicines affects all Venezuelans, but the impact is greatest on the poor, "who represent approximately 50 percent of the population," he said.

The minister said that while the government has made no official estimate of how many Venezuelans have died due to shortages Caracas attributes to US sanctions, a study published recently by the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research put the number at more than 40,000.

"All of the country's hospitals are functioning, though not at 100 percent of their capacity," Alvarado said.

The WHO, Cuba and China are the main suppliers of medicines to Venezuela at the moment, he said. EFE

News history
28 children die in Liberia school fire

Monrovia, Sep 18 (efe-epa).- At least 28 children have died in Liberia in a fire in a boarding school in a suburb on the outskirts of the capital Monrovia.

Trump steps up sanctions on Iran after oil attacks

Washington, Sep 18 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States said Wednesday he has ordered a significant increase in sanctions against Iran, a move...

Indian students and activists take part in an anti-tobacco campaign rally

New Delhi, Sep 18 (efe-epa).- The government of India on Wednesday announced a blanket ban on electronic-cigarettes, citing health risks to users,...

At least 10 injured as militants attack government office in Afghanistan

Kabul, Sep 18 (efe-epa).- At least 10 people were injured on Wednesday in a suicide bomb and gun attack targeting a government office complex in the city of...

Trump, Rouhani, Bolsonaro to be UN's main protagonists, many missing

By Mario Villar

Hong Kong protests creating chasm between residents and police

By Shirley Lau.

Spain's politicians unofficially enter campaign mode as repeat vote looms

Madrid, Sep 18 (efe-epa).- Spanish lawmakers on Wednesday unofficially began campaigning for looming repeat elections in a lively prime minister's questions...

Juncker: Possible no-deal Brexit remains 'palpable'

Strasbourg, France, Sep 18 (efe-epa).- The risk of a no-deal Brexit remains "palpable," the EU commission's president Jean-Claude Juncker told MEPs Wednesday.

Alleged Chinese cyber-attacks cast shadow over Australian politics

By Rocio Otoya

Freed Venezuelan lawmaker calls for release of all political prisoners

Caracas, Sep 17 (efe-epa).- The deputy speaker of Venezuela’s opposition-controlled parliament, who was released on Tuesday after spending more than 130...

Netanyahu vows to form new government

Tel Aviv, Sep 18 (efe-epa).- Israel's acting prime minister gave a speech to supporters early on Wednesday following general elections in the Middle Eastern...

Sánchez makes last call to avoid new Spanish elections

Spain will hold snap elections on 10 November, after acting PM Pedro Sánchez on Tuesday (17 September) failed to get either the support of the leftist...

Oil price falls as fears of supply shortage ebb

By Guillermo Ximenis

Pain, resignation hang over central Mexico 2 years after devastating quake

By Gabriela Garcia Guzman

Spain's king names no premier candidate, opening way to new elections

Madrid, Sep 17 (efe-epa).- Spain's King Felipe VI on Tuesday did not name a candidate to form a new government after his round of contacts with political...

Greta Thunberg, activists urge Congress to act on climate change

Washington, Sep 17 (efe-epa).- Sixteen-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, along with a group of indigenous leaders, on Tuesday demanded...

Saïed, Karoui will face off in 2nd round of presidential elections in Tunisia

Tunis, Sep 17 (efe-epa).- Conservative jurist Kaïes Saïed and media magnate Nabil Karoui will face off in a runoff election in Tunisia, according to the...

Amazon deforestation driven by mafia networks, NGO warns

Sao Paolo, Sep 17 (efe-epa).- Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is driven by violent mafia networks which the Jair Bolsonaro government has fueled by...

Snowden's memoirs: A call to protect privacy in a digital age

By Lucia Leal

Spanish King's brother-in-law to leave prison twice a week for charity work

Valladolid, Spain, Sep 17 (efe-epa).- The brother-in-law of Spain's King Felipe VI, Iñaki Urdangarín, who is currently serving a prison sentence for...

30,000 children at risk of abuse after Mozambique cyclones

Nairobi, Sep 17 (efe-epa).- Tens of thousands of children are at risk of abuse and exploitation in Mozambique six months after the country was devastated by...

Almost 50 killed as Taliban claim twin blasts in Afghanistan

Kabul, Sep 17 (efe-epa).- Two terror attacks killed at least 48 people in Afghanistan Tuesday as Taliban-claimed explosions rocked an election rally...

Former Italian PM quits Democratic Party to create new group

Rome, Sep 17 (efe-epa).- Italy's former prime minister Matteo Renzi on Tuesday split from the center-left Democratic Party (PD) he once led to form a new...

Lam to meet Hong Kong citizens in attempt to resolve crisis

By Shirley Lau

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.