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Colombia border hospitals struggle with Venezuelan migrant influx


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Ana Moreno
Dr Atilio Rivera
Wilfredo Mendoza
Deiner Arevalo
Arevalo said."So
Dr Juan Ramirez
Ana MorenoThe


Erazmo Meoz

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milk."In Venezuela

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They even went to the market on weekends, to try and make some extra cash, selling whatever they could."At the moment we are witnessing the complications of the social problem that Venezuela has and it's affecting all of our pediatric services," said Deiner Arevalo, manager of the pediatric ward at Cucuta's Erazmo Meoz hospital.According to Arevalo, around 70 percent of the hospital's paediatric patients are Venezuelan at the moment."They arrive with very complicated illnesses that have been either treated inappropriately or because of the lack of medicine and supplies in Venezuela," Arevalo said."So, usually, when they arrive here their illness is much more aggressive and they require a lot of care," he added. "The doctors here say that we're going back to the '50s and seeing illnesses that hadn't been around since then," he said, pointing to illnesses such as tuberculosis, malaria and dengue.Venezuelan migration was unexpected and is something that was not included in the hospital's institutional budget, according to general manager Dr Juan Ramirez.In 2015, the hospital cared for 600 Venezuelan patients. The government said that the financial expectation for the Venezuelan crisis has overflown, and that they're going to ask for international help, so that's what we're waiting on," Ramirez said.Colombian government officials had not responded to Al Jazeera's request for comment at the time of publication.The lack of medicine in Venezuela means that many of its citizens take to using homemade remedies, from plants, to treat pain and other illnesses as paracetamol and antibiotics are unavailable. "There is a phenomenon of homemade remedies among Venezuelans that has been evident at the hospital, but children are dying from them," Arevalo said.

As said here by Steven Grattan