Socialism is a mass-killer: Malaria spreads as Venezuela’s economy implodes

  • Date: 25/04/19
  • Financial Times

There was a time when Venezuela led Latin America in the battle against malaria. No longer.

The collapse of the country’s economy and health system, combined with a boom in illegal mining in the malaria-ridden south, has sparked a resurgence in the disease, which is creeping across the borders into Colombia and Brazil.

The World Health Organization says that between 2010 and 2017 Venezuela witnessed a ninefold increase in the number of confirmed cases of malaria, climbing to 412,000. That was the fastest rate of growth found anywhere in the world, according to the Lancet journal.

The disease is not slowing down. Between 2016 and 2017 alone, the number of confirmed cases jumped 70 per cent. Another study, published this month by Venezuelan lead scientists Adriana Tami and María Eugenia Grillet, estimates new cases hit 1m in 2018…

At the start of this decade, the Americas were winning the battle against the disease. Between 2010 and 2014, the number of cases recorded in the hemisphere fell by 42 per cent to 391,000.

But the trend has since reversed and in just three years the number of cases has almost doubled, reaching 774,000. Between 2016 and 2017, Venezuela accounted for 84 per cent of this increase, the WHO says.

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