According to the president of Venezuela’s National Statistics Institute (INE), Elías Eljuri, poverty in Venezuela declined to 23% in the second semester of 2009, while extreme poverty has fallen to 6%. This contrasts substantially with poverty rates of 70% and extreme poverty of 40% in 1996, before the election of Venezuela’s current president, Hugo Chávez.
Venezuela will also see an increase in health spending this year and expand its immunization program. According to the head of state, the National Vaccination Plan will immunize 95 percent of the Venezuelan population against 14 diseases in more 2000 new immunization attention centers throughout the country, centers which will be incorporated into the current Barrio Adentro units.
“We are engaging in preventive health, protecting the Venezuelan population. We’re going to visit up to 6 million families and vaccinate millions of children and adults,” he said. In addition to expanding the country’s immunization program, the government is also planning additional funding for hospital improvement projects and other health programs. “We are giving priority to operating rooms, maternity wards, laboratories, and oncology centers in Barrio Adentro III” said Health Minister Luis Reyes Reyes.
Barrio Adentro is the national health program created by an agreement with Cuba in 2003 which employs Cuban doctors and provides free medical services in Venezuela.
Venezuela is the most equal country in Latin America, according to the internationally recognized inequality measurement, theGINI coefficient.
Title: Venezuela Strengthens National Health System, Marks Advance in Fight Against Poverty
Source: Venezuela News Analysis, March 4, 2010
Author: Edward Ellis
Faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips
Sonoma State University