Venezuela's prescription for drug shortage: herbs

January 20, 2018

With an estimated five percent of needed medicines available, Venezuela on Friday launched a health plan that relies on herbs and natural remedies.

The "100 percent Natural Health Plan" seeks the "rescue of historic and patrimonial , knowledge of the old ladies," President Nicolas Maduro said at the presidential palace.

Oil-rich and once one of the wealthiest countries in Latin America, Venezuela has seen its economy decimated under Maduro.

Falling oil prices, deadly protests, and corruption have coincided with chronic food and medicine shortages, and inflation which the IMF forecasts will exceed 2,300 percent in 2018.

Citizens have demonstrated against shortages of essential goods including medicines. The country's medical union estimated Venezuela's pharmaceutical shortage at 95 percent.

"I am curing a terrible flu that hit me at the beginning of the year with chamomile, aloe, lemon and a little honey," Maduro said.

"This comes from the ancestral knowledge of my family."

The Coalition of Organizations for the Right to Health and Life has denounced an "absolute and prolonged absence" of basic pharmaceuticals to treat diseases including kidney failure, cancer and multiple sclerosis.

Antibiotics and drugs to control blood pressure are also scarce.

In November, patients and their families marched to the embassies of Canada, Costa Rica, the Netherlands and Peru to ask those countries to press Caracas for a "humanitarian channel" for the entry of medicines to Venezuela.

Maduro's government denies there is a "humanitarian crisis" in the country and blames sanctions imposed by the United States for affecting the importation of food and .

Explore further: Venezuela government distributes medicine amid shortage

Related Stories

Venezuela government distributes medicine amid shortage

November 26, 2017
Venezuela launched a program Saturday to hand out medicine to 35,651 patients, blaming US sanctions for a shortage, even as doctors say 95 percent of all drugs are missing.

Venezuelan hospitals lack 80% of medicines, supplies

August 24, 2016
Hospitals in crisis-hit Venezuela are facing shortages of about eight in 10 medications and medical supplies needed to treat patients, according to a study published Tuesday.

Venezuela watchdog urges access to medicine in crisis

April 6, 2016
Venezuela's state ombudsman urged the government Tuesday to speed production of basic medicines in an economic crisis that has caused severe shortages.

Baby deaths soar 30% in Venezuela: ministry

May 10, 2017
Deaths of babies soared by 30 percent last year in Venezuela, hit by shortages of food and medicine in an economic and political crisis, the health ministry said on Wednesday.

Venezuela says 3 dead from Zika complications

February 12, 2016
Venezuela has announced the first Zika-related deaths in the South American country.

Recommended for you

Sweet, bitter, fat: New study reveals impact of genetics on how kids snack

February 22, 2018
Whether your child asks for crackers, cookies or veggies to snack on could be linked to genetics, according to new findings from the Guelph Family Health Study at the University of Guelph.

The good and bad health news about your exercise posts on social media

February 22, 2018
We all have that Facebook friend—or 10—who regularly posts photos of his or her fitness pursuits: on the elliptical at the gym, hiking through the wilderness, crossing a 10K finish line.

Smartphones are bad for some teens, not all

February 21, 2018
Is the next generation better or worse off because of smartphones? The answer is complex and research shows it largely depends on their lives offline.

Tackling health problems in the young is crucial for their children's future

February 21, 2018
A child's growth and development is affected by the health and lifestyles of their parents before pregnancy - even going back to adolescence - according to a new study by researchers at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, ...

Lead and other toxic metals found in e-cigarette 'vapors': study

February 21, 2018
Significant amounts of toxic metals, including lead, leak from some e-cigarette heating coils and are present in the aerosols inhaled by users, according to a study from scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public ...

Why teens need up to 10 hours' sleep

February 21, 2018
Technology, other distractions and staying up late make is difficult, but researchers say teenagers need to make time for 8-10 hours of sleep a night to optimise their performance and maintain good health and wellbeing.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.