Updated 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Venezuela with the highest rates of teenage pregnancy

Pregnant women, mostly first time mothers and minors, have increased exponentially in Venezuela, largely because of the shortage of contraceptive products. Despite their status, to try to get them to their future babies diapers for days these women have to struggle by slapping and shoving in lines that wrap whole apples.

When they manage to reach the point of sale rationed only get frustration: "By order of the National Guard, only diapers for children who are born and must bring birth certificate sold."

In those circumstances, according to witnesses consulted often they manage to get some diapers those lucky enough to own dollars or Colombian pesos.

Venezuela is now the country of South America with the highest number of child pregnancies.

Furthermore, given the acute shortage of contraceptives, prenatal educator DIARIO LAS AMERICAS revealed that women "are now using sterilization as a contraceptive method."

In some supermarkets and sometimes the "counter" diaper pregnant women are allowed provided they have a medical report certifying their status and a recent ultrasound. However, only they sell them the size of diapers there at that time and not what they need.

Diapers are the most sought by pregnant product. They are followed by wet towels, milk and vitamins like folic acid, iron and calcium, all of which are also scarce.

According to the pollster Datanalisis in Venezuela is scarce one of four basic products, moreover, this same firm revealed that Venezuelans, on average, spend at least six hours of queuing week.

All pregnant women go through difficult to get drugs, regardless of their profession, occupation or socioeconomic situations.

One of the pregnant women had to shoveling and suffer in queues is Yly Bonilla, journalist of San Cristobal, Tachira, on the border with Colombia. He told this reporter that has failed diapers size newborn to her unborn child.

"I've had to deal with many queues to buy diapers because I can not wait for my baby to be born. Here we are in an uncertainty that do not really know what will happen, if they return the 'guarimbas' [protests where the streets are clogged], if there is a social explosion, "he said.

He said that last week was to buy diapers in the Cosmos supermarket and did not want to sell because, as has become customary, the child was not born and did well to bring the birth certificate. When asked for an explanation he was told it was an order of the National Guard.

While hundreds of thousands of pregnant women remain under a blazing sun in lines to buy the products of their babies, President Nicolas Maduro has said on several occasions that the media promotes psychological warfare to induce Venezuelans to do "nerve purchases."

In fact, within the abuses committed the government came to the imprisonment of the managers of the chain Farmatodo under the pretext of "promoting long lines at the doors of their local".

In this regard, Bonilla said purchases President Maduro categorized as "compulsive" often do when you know that there are certain local stocks of a staple. "Toca buy so you already have it, because it is not known when it will be," he said.

"Now, for example, do not have to do laundry because there is no soap powder nowhere," said Bonilla, 28.

Yuleisy Jara is another pregnant woman and has a child of 17 months has also had to pass hardships. With four months pregnant, it has not yet been able to buy diapers or any other product for your future baby.

To mitigate the effects of the severe economic crisis in Venezuela today, Yuleisy, 22, is dedicated to take care of three children.

"I have not got diapers for the baby because if I sell has to be with the birth certificate; will not get towels or clinics, which are used when one gives birth, "he said.

Another pregnant mother, 22, who asked not to be identified and whose sister 18 is also pregnant, reported that in order to acquire the diapers had to go to Merida, a town six hours by land from Tachira state.

According to this poor mother living in rural Capacho, Tachira, his comfort (like many families) is that eight people live in your house and take turns in the ranks.

"We have to stall a queue until eight hours to buy, but many times we got to turn and have already finished products," he lamented.

Complaints abound moms of all kinds of age and social stratum. This is the case of a girl of 15 years eight months pregnant could only get two packs of diapers. Also he found no calcium.

"No" is the answer I give this poor girl in all pharmacies and stores. Given the shortage, several acquaintances gathered and got him two packages of diapers and various clothes for the baby.

"It's very stressful being pregnant, I would not recommend 'chamitas' [girls] like me because the situation is not to get pregnant," he lamented.

In general, pregnant women complain of the high cost of all kinds of products for babies, including clothing and cloth diapers.

A prenatal educator who works in a public hospital in Venezuela and who requested anonymity, told DIARIO LAS AMERICAS, the shortage has reached such a point that the institutions where they plan to give birth by caesarean require them to take their own account medical supplies they need for the operation.

"It is now almost a luxury to use paper 'toilet'. 12 rolls sold at 1,000 bolivars and the minimum wage is 5,600 [$ 22, according to the black market], "he explained the teacher, who is the head of your home.

DIARIO LAS AMERICAS consulted a gynecologist who works in a private clinic and a public hospital, but the source declined to reveal his identity, then complain about the lack of medical supplies to work, he can assert his job.

This woman said that the crisis touches both public hospitals and private. He said he hears daily complaints of their patients by shortages of multivitamins and supplements for pregnant women, and the lack of drugs to treat infections and pregnancies own pathologies.

The shortage, which has been increasing in Venezuela two years ago, made worse by the fall in international oil prices, which fell barrel in less than a year from $ 100 to $ 43 and falling.

The economic debacle can be clearly seen in the increase in the price of the dollar on the black market street. It is 30 times more expensive than the official ticket and 100 bolivars largest denomination in Venezuela, equivalent to less than 40 cents. Experts believe that this year inflation will reach 100%.

Because commodities are not achieved and there is no employment, many citizens choose to go to supermarkets to queue in order to sell their positions, said Yuleisy Jara, single mother, because "queing is a form of work and generate income. "

Jara said the "leakage diaper" is because many mothers are to Cucuta (Colombia border town) to resell those who manage to get, which, by the devaluation of the bolivar, is very profitable. For example, it expanded Jara, 32 diapers package is 179 bolivars and is resold in Cucuta up to 1,500 bolivars (about $ 6, according to the black dollar).

The headache for moms when a child gets sick is not only the disease itself but the quest to get drugs. This is the case of a mother whose salary is 12,000 bolivares ($ 48) and his son was diagnosed with reflux. After touring all pharmacies in Saint Kitts and not find the necessary medicine to cure him, I had to go to Cucuta to buy 11,000 bolivars. That drug in Venezuela would have cost only 240 bolivars ($ 1).

Another mother who has suffered when your 18 months sick told DIARIO LAS AMERICAS that as not getting the medicines, has had to resort to home remedies like chamomile tea or herbs, because they are not even painkillers basic as acetaminophen and anti-flu.

Clearly, the deficiency in the production and purchase foreign exchange restrictions has sparked the crisis by drug shortages. In addition, Venezuela has low production, which does not cover all the demands of its population.


For two years Venezuela has the record of being the country with the highest number of teenage pregnancies in South America. Of every 100 women who become pregnant annually, 25 are teenagers, according to the Telemedicine program of the Central University of Venezuela.

It is no wonder: in short supply all kinds of contraceptives and condoms, if any, cost 4,760 bolivars for a box of 36, or $ 750 according to the official exchange rate.

The gynecologist who requested anonymity said that early pregnancy is the common denominator in their consultations and scarcity has emphasized this problem. However, he said that this has always been a problem because "definitively education in our country is not on track".

And contraceptives, he said, also scarce public policies to counter the problem of early pregnancy. "There's only warm water wipes" he said.

Medical Marisela Navarro, promoter Breastfeeding UNICEF, said that in Valencia, Carabobo state, has attended births of girls up to 10 years. "Even sometimes came girls aged 13 and 14 years old and was his second delivery," he added.