Access to a free, humanized healthcare has been a promise of the Revolution since its very beginning, materializing in controversial measures that go from the creation of a feeble Misión Barrio Adentro, to the graduation of poorly trained “doctors”.

The latest gimmick? Plan Parto Humanizado (Humanized Childbirth Plan).

“Our wish is that Venezuelan women go through a happy, loving childbirth, more humane and less mercantilistic, allowing everyone involved, from doctors, technicians, midwives, families and the community, the fostering of a more humane homeland.”

With a Bs. 12,090,000,000 budget for the training of communitarian promoters, it looks good on paper, but chances are it’ll suffer the same fate as every Maduro initiative.

See, talks of humanized childbirth aren’t new. In 2012, the then ombudsman Gabriela Ramírez, now Maduro’s open detractor, published a 61-page document criticizing physicians, the “discriminating attitude of health care providers” and the “medicalization (that’s the actual word she used) of mothers, to allegedly help the delivery.” A true ode to hypocrisy, placing all responsibility on health care providers, ignoring that it’s impossible to have a “humanized labor” when conditions are not provided at state-run facilities.

In 2014, PAHO/WHO joined efforts with Venezuela’s Health Ministry to print 4,000 copies of guidelines for childbirth attention for every hospital to operate under, but while it was actually well thought out, little was done to ensure that delivery rooms were fit for  humanized labor.

Women today must buy everything themselves, including gloves, all medication, sutures, umbilical clamps, formula and local anesthetics, in case episiotomy is needed.

Women today must buy everything themselves, including gloves, all medication, sutures, umbilical clamps, formula and local anesthetics, in case episiotomy is needed. Epidural anesthesia (injected directly on the spinal cord) is common practice in developed countries, but not in Venezuela, as delivery rooms lack the basic logistics to make it viable.

As for privacy, this picture made so many headlines a few weeks ago, that the government’s propaganda apparatus went on a full-blown witch hunt, leading to the detention of UCLA’s med students and hospital personnel.

A Low for Venezuelan Obstetrics

“Childbirth in Venezuela was humanized” says Dr. Mauricio Vargas, my 85 year old obstetrics professor.

Back in the 60’s, when he was appointed as maternólogo (as there were no officially trained obstetricians in Mérida), every woman in the delivery room was treated with profound respect. “We’d treat every pregnant woman with a smile, we’d provide psychological profilaxis so she was ready for childbirth. The patient could be wealthy or poor, it made no difference.”

To him, these are the worse times Venezuelan obstetrics have ever faced. “Women can’t get a proper room, or even shower before going into labor. Hospitals lack the infrastructure.”

He reminisces of a time when every pregnant woman got nutritional advice at prenatal consults, and had her adequate calcium intake ensured. “Everything went bad after attention got massified and the investment on health lagged.”

Cardboard Feminism

Under this communist, self deemed feminist regime, women’s rights have taken a massive hit; from scarcity of contraceptive methods to a tight anti-abortion law, choosing how and when to start a family is not an option for most women. At private hospitals, humanized childbirth is guaranteed, if you can pay for it. As a result, women are crossing the border to give birth in Colombia.

The most humane thing the government could do is make an actual effort towards diminishing maternal mortality rates

What’s really serious, though, is reported on the latest national Epidemiologic Bulletin: there’s a 65% increase in maternal mortality rates, from 2015 to 2016, with a steady 12% growth  each year, hard evidence of just how bad the health crisis is.

Exactly how Maduro’s new plan is fixing this mess seems unclear. After all, the Revolution’s way of fighting the patriarchy is naming a number of useless organizations after women, and making sure the gurneys in the delivery rooms are pink. Because that’ll suppress the nightmare of giving birth in the worst health crisis Venezuela has ever seen. Women just love pink.

The most humane thing the government could do is make an actual effort towards diminishing maternal mortality rates, and making sure doctors have the supplies they need to care for women’s health. No fancy words, just do your job; if healthcare is competent, it’s humane.

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Head of the Church of Martha Stewart: I bake therefore I am. Táchirense: Almojabana and quesadilla lover, "toche" and "juemadre" user. Pastelitos de queso con bocadillo fanatic and overall gochadas supporter. Also doctor —as in proper MD— and pobresora universitaria too.

22 COMMENTS

  1. A heads up to the CC tech support.
    I use a proxy server / VNP
    When my ip address is UK, I receive the following message and I am unable to access Caracas Chronicles.

    Error 403 Forbidden.

    Forbidden.

    Guru Meditation:

    XID: 1081400

    Varnish cache server

  2. “women’s rights have taken a massive hit; a tight anti-abortion law”

    Cuba is still today one of the countries with the highest abortion rates (per capita) in the world, a reminder of how the Soviet influence was able to overcome any local/cultural/religious resistance. It won’t be any different in Venezuela, they haven’t changed the law because it would be too impopular: while the middle and upper social strata cringe with the toughts of raising kids, the poor tend to see it as a ‘blessing’ and a justification for their own lives (they tend to be terrible parents, though, but that’s another discussion).

    After PSUV really consolidates their power, what is probably already the case, they will enforce abortions, some policy on the number of births allowed per family too. For PSUV, Venezuelans have become obsolete. The so-called ‘women rights’ that you want are just around the corner. Rejoice!

    • MRubio
      There is an old country song with the line “I know I am crazy but t keeps me from going insane.”
      On a more serious note,
      My shipper doesn’t deliver outside of the Caracas area. They also claim that they haven’t lost any shipments since the April hijacking that we lost everything on. That makes me feel special.
      Can you access anything to e-mail or message me?
      I have Yahoo, AOL, Skype and LinkedIn. My daughters use Facebook and twitter otherwise I will use the go between that contacted you.
      The other option is sending the seeds to Caracas. Then you have the hassle of a 500 mile round trip. I think it would be best to try to avoid that. Any suggestions that you have or knowledge of reliable shipping companies would be great.
      If the Maduro regime had set their minds on destroying Venezuela, it would probably be booming economically. With no crime and people clamoring to get in.
      The only thing they can do right is outmaneuver the opposition.

  3. Women and children. Publishing an item like this, even if only on the CC site, will really kick the UN resolution writers into high gear. Watch the diplomatic pressure rain down on Maduro and Co. If only Trump hadn’t spoken out about possibility of a military solution in Venezuela Maduro and Co. would now be long gone. Relegated to the dust bins of yesteryear. Recall this is the position taken by FT and ED in their joint rant/meltdown “F” storm (so mature!) after Trumps initial statement. Damn Donald and his back teeth! UN resolutions and diplomatic pressure would’ve fomented change just like they have in Cuba. Now the Washington Post editorial staff, a group noted for their high values and dedication to the truth, will make these right wing NRA nuts tremble. As well they should. Look at the track record of South Africa’s agriculture pre and post socialization for a prime example as how change, as touted by the liberalo-philes. can destroy any country’s ability to prosper.

    • What VZ needs is a really good Twitter hashtag and the rest will fall into place. Michelle Obama proved that it was possible with slave traders and kidnappers in Africa.

      Surely that will work equally as well today in VZ.

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