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Sick people in Venezuela prioritize buying food and relegate their health, says NGO

Sick people prioritize buying food and relegate their health, says NGO.

At least 90% of the chronic patients treated by the NGO of Venezuela Solidarity Action devote most of their income to buying food, for which they relegate health care and medication expenses to the background, despite having pathologies that require special attention, according to a report prepared by the entity and presented this Tuesday.

The document, for which a survey of 399 people was conducted between March 7 and April 8, shows that the three main chronic health conditions of the organization’s beneficiaries are hypertension, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and diabetes.

“The surveyed users state that their income level is insufficient or very insufficient to cover their needs. And, for the most part, the people surveyed prioritize food expenses over other expenses, such as health, ”says the report.

Patients prioritize buying food

The report also indicates that the vast majority of users served “do not have private health insurance and depend exclusively on the public health system to receive medical care,” some from organizations such as Solidarity Action for access to medicines.

Juan Rodrigues, a member of the NGO’s Human Rights Enforceability team, said during the presentation of the study that 9 out of 10 people surveyed living with HIV direct their income to food, where almost 7 out of 10 go to hospitals or non-profit organizations for medical care.

For her part, Jennifer Jardim, also a member of the team, indicated that 175 of those surveyed are senior citizens, of whom 82% allocate most of their income to buying food.

In addition, he pointed out that 78% of older adults do not have access to medications to treat their health condition due to their cost.

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