Venezuela was once the front runner in malaria eradication, being one of a few countries in the region to wipe out the diseases between the 1960s and the 1980s. Now, despite the decline of infection rates across most of the developing world, Venezuela is seeing a rise in infection rates and cases of malaria are also leaving the country’s border. The rising malaria rates are among other drastic problems in the country’s healthcare system – maternal mortality, HIV, and tuberculosis’s are also on the rise as access to quality healthcare and disease treatment seems to amiss for many Venezuelans.
This complex resurgence of malaria seems to be the result of Venezuela’s political and economic crisis – marked by a break in the country’s malaria commodity supply chain and severe lack of disease prevention programs. Some say that these issues are only exacerbated by the Venezuelan government failing to acknowledge the significance and scale of this crisis.
The question remains – why is this happening in Venezuela, the very first country to eradicate malaria? What does it take to truly sustain a status of low or no malaria in a country?