Venezuela reduces extreme poverty by 70 percent

Caracas, May 18. ABN.- Between 1990 and 2009, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela reduced in more than 70 percent the number of people living in extreme poverty, as well as the Rates of Prevalence of Malnutrition, which was reduced from 11 to 6 percent, that is to say, a reduction close to 50 percent.

The information was given by Isabel Iturria, Vice-minister of Health Resources of the Ministry of People’s Power for Health and President of the Latin American Children’s Cardiology Hospital, during the 63rd World Health Assembly organized by the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

Iturria said that Venezuela has been working on the reduction of social gaps and inequalities, assuming health as a human and constitutional right and not as a merchandise, as done by the capitalist model.

In this regard, the health vice-minister assured that the current world financial crisis and climate change are absolute evidences of the failure of said model, and also that Southern countries are the most affected by its terrible consequences.

Iturria stated that since 1998, the Venezuelan State offers free medical attention to the 100 percent of the people affected by HIV/AIDS, including the supply of the antiretrovirals (ARV). In addition, the mortality rate due to tuberculosis was reduced 39 percent, that is, 2.15 for every 100,000 inhabitants.

Another achievement reached by the Bolivarian Government is the reduction by 81 percent of the people without access to drinkable water and the lack of access to sewerages was reduced by 67 percent.

Regarding the health system, the Venezuelan representative underscored that with the governmental program Mision Barrio Adentro that was created in 2003, the Government has guaranteed free access for everybody to an integral health care system, benefiting the entire population. In the last seven years, the number of facilities have increased from 4,804 to 11,915, which represents an increase of 248 percent.

Iturria also mentioned the construction of the Latin American Children’s Cardiology Hospital that has offered free medical attention on cardiovascular surgeries, hemodynamics and electrophysiology to more than 4,000 children. This is 1,418 percent more than the attention given to children in these areas in 1998.

In Venezuela, about 5,000 opthalmology surgeries were carried out per year; however, since the Government implemented the program Mision Milagro, 1,104,150 surgeries have been carried out in 6 years, including 333,710 foreign patients, which shows Venezuela’s solidarity in the framework of the South-South cooperation.

Iturria concluded saying: “The achievements of the Revolutionary Government of President Hugo Chavez, demonstrate that the Millennium Development Goals can be reached if there are radical changes on the development model, based on the essential principles of justice, equity and solidarity.

The current challenge for the Revolution consists on deepening these principles to consolidate in our country the Bolivarian and humanist socialism that was democratically chose by Venezuelans.”

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