In Venezuela, Babies are Kept in Cardboard Boxes

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Lacking cribs and efficient supplies for newborns, hospitals in Venezuela have been keeping babies in cardboard boxes. Photographs were posted by an anonymous doctor and lawmaker Manuel Ferreira of t the Domingo Guzman Lander hospital in the north-eastern state of Anzoategui. The doctor asked to remain anonymous in fear of possible retaliation.

Congressman Ferreira released a statement on the matter:

“The babies spent all night in the cardboard boxes until the pictures were made public. After that they discharged the babies to avoid further exposure. This week we had 15 cases of newborn deaths here in Anzoategui’s Razetti hospital. Mothers are not fed properly and babies are born really weak. On top of that, the shortage of medicines and vaccines creates a mortal situation that is like a death cocktail.”

The country is severely lacking medicinal and antibiotic needs. Common painkillers to cancer and HIV drugs have become almost impossible to find throughout Venezuela. According to a report by the Pharmaceutical Federation, shortage of medicines is more than 80 percent, and doctors have resorted to using veterinary medications as a replacement instead of human ones.

Venezuelan officials have reacted angrily to the released hospital images, claiming the media is attempting to spin the story. “We do not justify the actions taken by a professional without the authorization of the management,” Carlos Rotondaro, the country’s director of social security said. “Our hospitals have to deal with hundreds of patients despite the efforts of the media to manipulate things. Unlike many, we recognize our fault and we continue.”

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