Venezuela economy is so bad its running out of medicine

This segment originally aired Oct. 26, 2016, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

“We cannot get sick,” Caracas nurse Kimberly Chávez told VICE News. Venezuela isn’t just facing a food shortage—its medicine is running out too.

President Nicolás Maduro has been blamed for food shortages that have left parts of the country on the verge of famine. Now Venezuela only has 15% of the drugs its people need, according to the National Federation of Pharmacies.

VICE News followed Caracas nurse Kimberly Chávez on a typical trip to the pharmacy. Her shopping list contained just three items: gauze, bandages, and diapers. Yet after visiting three pharmacies, she had still only found gauze and diapers. “They were really expensive.” Chávez said. “Someone on minimum wage, or the woman I’m caring for, wouldn’t be able to afford them.”

“This is Venezuela’s chaos,” she said. “Without medicines, without supplies, the elderly who are suffering from diseases can’t get consistent treatment.”

Read next: Venezuela’s health care crisis is worse than the government will admit, says Human Rights Watch

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