The municipality of Colombia where more Venezuelan babies are born than Colombians

20 August 2018 08:55 AM
Updated on 20 August 2018 09.30 hours

The memory of the death of her first newborn daughter, due to a bacterium that Venezuelan doctors could not fight for lack of medication, was why Noralcy Parra, with seven months of pregnancy, left her country to work in a hospital in Cúcuta ( Colombian municipality at the border with Venezuela).

This 24-year-old Venezuelan arrived on Sunday 28 June with her husband in the city and from that evening occupied room 524 of the Erasmus University Hospital (HUEM). A strong contraction that began to feel in the abdomen after a two-day journey forced his transfer to the medical center.

Between June and July, the high demand of foreign patients under pregnant circumstances, such as Noralcy, passed from Huem's midwifery to the point that of the 788 births that were attended, 469 were children of Venezuelan nationality. This means that 59% of the newborns in the last two months in the main hospital complex in Cúcuta were not Colombians, but foreigners.

"The bitter experience I had with my daughter has forever drawn me in. Because I knew I was expecting another child, my idea was to keep him away from the health system that killed her, and I remember when I had, they demanded all the supplies and medicines, and that nothing is now achieved, even if you have the money to pay for it, "said Noralcy, whose pregnancy was considered a great risk.

In the same room of Noralcy there are three Venezuelans who gave birth in the previous night. One of them is Carolina Montenegro, who clings to the body of the newborn. Her delivery did not cause any major complications, but she had to remain in medical observation for another day, because before she entered the operating room, her body showed signs of malnutrition.

"In my country, when you ate breakfast, you did not have lunch, or simply ate arepas, without meat or chicken, because nothing was achieved, and before I came, I did not eat enough, and the risk of my pregnancy increased. evening I decided to seek help in Colombia, "said Carolina, now the mother of Juan Esteban after leaving Maracay, the capital of the Venezuelan state of Aragua.

Since the closure of the border, promulgated by Nicolás Maduro in August 2015, the attention of this health center for foreign patients has skyrocketed because of the exodus of citizens from the neighboring country. That year, 212 Venezuelan births were attended. The number tripled in 2017, when there were 734 deliveries of migrants.

So far in 2018, the HUEM has already served 1,484 foreign births, and the trend does not stop growing. According to the guidelines of this hospital, providing the service to women like Noralcy or Carolina has become a problem because the system collapsed and the accounts became obsolete.

"In recent years, the income of Venezuelans has increased exponentially.What attracted the most attention is that in the obstetric and gynecological part, where there is an emergency service, we find an increase of Venezuelan women.This makes us collapse.We have waited a long time on the payout of the state and nothing that comes, and we remain present, but without the necessary financial oxygen, "said Juan Agustín Ramírez, manager of the HUEM.

A procedure of this costs about 900,000 pesos ($ 297), excluding the costs that the days of recovery in hospital departments can mean. The sum of this service is reflected in the thick portfolio of 22,000 million pesos ($ 7,275) reported by the healthcare allowance of this health institution over the past three years to a total of 15,040 migrants.

This financial gap contributes to the repression that occurs in emergency services. In the field of gynecology for obstetrics there are 12 beds to respond to a much higher demand of 50 daily attentions.

While these serious situations are overcome without structural solutions, the HUEM hopes that the new government will pay out resources that solve the problems.

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