Marino Gonzalez is a medical doctor with a Ph.D. in Public
Health Policy. He is the type of person who would be an ideal advisor to any Government,
but not in Venezuela
where he has to devote himself to study what is going on, instead of helping
out, because the revolution does not want help, they think anyone can do
anything and knowledge and expertise are unnecessary. Marino wrote this article
in today’s Tal Cual, which clearly shows how cynical and fake this Government
is. It speaks for itself.
Measles rojas, rojitas by Marino González in Tal Cual
We have an incompetent and authoritarian Government
That is public and well noted. What is becoming clearer is
also the cynicism of the current Government to take advantage of the good faith
of millions of Venezuelans. It creates illusions that contradict the suffering
of many sectors, especially the poorest and least informed.
It is also cynicism when the Government does not warn its
citizens, nor does it investigate the causes of the problems that affect them.
The Government of President Chavez has incessantly
repeated many fallacies about its management of the health sector. Such
repetitions have managed to even dazzle some international organizations, the
supposed defenders of good scientific practices.
In his last speech on the occasion of his annual message
to the National Assembly, President Chavez pointed out” “We can say today that Venezuela has
what it never had before: A public integrated health system.”
Previously he had pointed out: “In Barrio Adentro I, we
reached 56.8 million doctor’s appointments…” To close it off he said:” We
have expanded the hospital system, we are now going towards Barrio Adentro IV,
Barrio Adentro keeps advancing with…”
All of this rhetorical
euphoria, a product of ideological manipulation, has nothing to do with the
realty of the health of Venezuelans. The Government of President Chavez has
only built tales. And they keep telling them without any shame.
There is a very simple way
to prove what was just said.
If we had the best health
system in the world, as he has said in some sort of “communicational trance” in
we would not have a single measles case. However, we have the highest number of
cases so far this year in the whole of the western hemisphere, according to the
reports of the Ministry of Health, as well as the weekly Measles Bulletin
elaborated by the Pan-American Health Organization.
Measles care is an
excellent indicator of the penetration and quality of a health system. In the
first place, because measles is an illness which can be completely eradicated.
It is produced by a virus and can be avoided via immunization.
In the second place,
because the technology (the vaccine) has a low cost and proven effectiveness. In
the third place, because through adequate organizational arrangements, it is
possible to cover all of the population at risk.
Because of all these
reasons, the Ministers of Health of the Americas adopted in 1994 the goal
of eradicating measles on the year 2000. Many of the countries in the region
have been successful against measles:
In Nicaragua the last case was reported in 1994, in
Honduras in 1997, in Guatemala in
1998. Only to cite countries with less relative development that Venezuela.
In Colombia the last case
was reported in 2002, in Peru
In the years of the rojo,
rojito Government, Venezuela
has turned itself into an island of measles. Only in 2002 we had 2,392 cases.
After an absence of cases from 2003 to 2005, measles has surged again in 2006
with 92 cases. This signifies the highest number of cases in the Americas. It is
more by far than the 14 cases of Brazil
or the 23 of Mexico.
In no other country in Latin America, have
there been cases of measles.
The cases of measles are
distributed across all of the regions of the country. We have had
cases in Zulia, Carabobo, Guárico, Amazonas, Distrito Metropolitano, Miranda,
and Nueva Esparta. So far in 2007, 23
cases have already been reported. Four more times than in the US. No other
country in America
has had a measles case in 2007.
The Government of President
Chávez has not passed the measles test. It is a health system impotent in the
face of simple problems, already solved in countries with fewer resources. A
National Assembly concerned about the problems has started an investigation.
Could it be the vaccine is ineffective? Could it be there was no adequate
quality control? Why does the Government say that vaccination is high and we
have measles? Is something similar happening with other vaccines? What is
happening with the Barrio Adentro vaccinations? Why doesn’t the Government give
information about all of this?
There is no doubt: the
rojo, rojito Government has been incompetent even with measles.