Venezuela December 2019

Situation Report

Cluster Status


People benefited from medicines


The measles outbreak has been progressively controlled but is still under active surveillance in some states. In 2019, as of 14 December, there were 552 confirmed cases in 12 states and the Capital District including two casualties in Zulia state. The last laboratory-confirmed case from exanthema was on 11 August 2019 from the Guajira municipality, Alta Guajira, in the state of Zulia. In this regard, it is necessary to continue efforts to stem the transmission of the measles outbreak.[1]

According to the Ministry of Health, in 2019 there was a significant lack of resources to acquire medicines, equipment and supplies. In four years, half of the transnational drug-producing companies left the country, and up to 25 percent of the human talent migrated from the public to the private sector or went abroad. Additionally, due to hyperinflation, the costs of all administrative materials, spare parts, light bulbs, equipment, ambulances, and supplies in general increased. In addition, private companies that had been providing laboratory services to hospitals for 30 years left. Due to the electricity blackout in March 2019, more than 30 percent of medical equipment suffered damages, and these have not yet been fully repaired[2].

[1] Pan American Health Organization/Worth Health Organization. Epidemiolocal Update. Measles. December 13, 2019. Washington, D.C.: PAHO/WHO, 2019. Available at:

[2] Venezuelan Television: That is us. Minister of Health: Venezuela maintains public medical services despite a blockade and the withholding of 500 million euros. 9/1/2020. Available at:


Between October and December 2019, nearly 40,000 people received sexual and reproductive health care, including the diagnosis and treatment for people with HIV/AIDS and syphilis or malaria in the capital District and the states of Anzoategui, Apure, Bolivar, Miranda and Tachira. 

  In December 2019, 130 health facilities and an estimated[1] 44,000 people received medicines and supplies in 12 states and the Capital District.

In December 2019, more than 5,000 people benefited from health promotion activities and disease prevention actions in the Capital District and the states of Anzoategui, Bolivar, Miranda, Tachira and Trujillo.

In December 2019, 362 health professionals were trained in gender, clinical management of sexual violence, hospital hygiene and risk management in emergencies, basic electrocardiography, and basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation, in the Capital District and the states of Anzoategui, Apure, Bolivar, Miranda and Tachira.  

[1] The number of people receiving medicines and supplies is an estimate that is made according to the type of kit or medicine/input delivered to a given health facility.


It is necessary to promote vaccination campaigns in yellow fever-susceptible areas and continue efforts to address the transmission of the measles outbreak and the control of diphtheria cases in prioritized states. It is also necessary to raise funds for the procurement and distribution of vaccines to ensure the continuity of the routine vaccination programme.

It is necessary to ensure the operational capacity of health facilities, with a continuous supply of medicines and goods and the continued provision of essential services (water, electricity, solid waste disposal).

        It is necessary to strengthen the actions of early detection, timely care, and epidemiological surveillance of vector-borne diseases, especially in vulnerable groups (such as pregnant women and the indigenous population).

Continued education and migration of health personnel remain a challenge for the transfer of knowledge and strengthening of human resource capacity in health.

There is a need to maintain information management of key health data to facilitate appropriate assessments and to improve support to health facilities across the country.

Continued fuel shortages in many areas of the country are directly affecting the logistics of the health response.