My name is Oscar Maitas and I am a physician who has been living in the US for the last six years. During my time here, I’ve watched the political and social situation in my home country of Venezuela drastically worsen to a point where I now fear for the lives of my family and friends. As the son of two physicians who are living back home--my father, an interventional cardiologist and my mother, a nephrologist--I hear and see firsthand where the Venezuelan crisis is having the most detrimental impact: on the health of the Venezuelan people. It has become nearly impossible for my parents to treat their patients. I can no longer sit back and watch my people die from treatable conditions as they wait for the government to make a change. I’ve started this fund to raise money to send medical supplies to Venezuela.
Venezuela is currently facing an extremely intense crisis as the result of the collapse of our economic system. In a country that used to flourish, Venezuelans are now standing in lines for hours to even have a chance of getting basic goods like soap, diapers, and bread. The shortages are most frightening in the pharmacies and hospitals—where easily treatable conditions are killing many Venezuelans because physicians just don’t have enough medicine. With the epidemic of the Zika Virus now spread all throughout the country, Venezuelans are dying from febrile complications simply because they do not have Tylenol or IV solution bags to treat dehydration. The Emergency doctors are making homemade water traps with water bottles when needing to insert chest tubes to drain fluid from body cavities. Hospitals, ambulatory clinics and pharmacies cross the country are lacking antibiotics, and many patients are dying from treatable conditions like pneumonia, urinary tract infections, diarrhea, etc.
According to the National Pharmacy College, 75% of medications are currently unavailable to Venezuelans including blood pressure and other heart protective medications, pain killers, contraceptives, syringes, insulin for diabetes treatment, amongst other over the counter medications.
Because the Venezuelan government is unable to take the necessary steps to help its own people, we are going to do our best to provide aid from abroad.
The economic help is of urgent matter. I will use the money raised to purchase over the counter medications for fever, dehydration, diarrhea, bronchitis, etc. I will purchase sterile materials for wound care and if possible, antibiotics. These materials will be shipped to public ambulatory clinics and hospitals located in remote areas throughout Venzuela, to treat the poorest population that are at the highest risk of infections.
The collected donations will also be used to purchase supplies for my mother's nephrology patients with end stage renal disease that are in need of kidney replacement therapy with dialysis. With the help of this funding, I will be able to resupply their Hemodialysis units with the filters and items needed for adequate therapy.
Realistically, this will not fix the root problem, but it will temporarily help ease the crisis that Venezuelans are unnecessarily and unjustifiably going through. I am obligated as a Venezuelan to help the country where I took an oath to heal and protect the sick. I am hoping to reach as many helpers out there.
Venezuela will always be in eternal gratitude for the assistance you provide. Thank you!
***Donations of unused, unoped medical supplies are also welcome (even if they are expired). Please contact us if you or someone you know has extra supplies they are willing to donate.