Amid medicine shortages and a mass exodus of trained medical staff, the crisis in Venezuela has seen a re-emergence of vaccine-preventable diseases, including measles and diphtheria that also affect Venezuela’s neighbors.
Eliminated from the Americas in 1971, the resurgence of poliomyelitis could be next as immunization programs are slashed.
The US CDC laid out several action points to help stem the crisis:
- Health authorities must urge the Venezuelan government to welcome humanitarian aid.
- International agencies should support large-scale vaccination campaigns among refugees and host populations.
- Epidemiologic surveillance programs, early reporting, and rapid response systems must be restored without delay.