Medics in Caracas say the health care system is collapsing and that children are dying from a lack of basic medical supplies.

Lack of food and medicine as Venezuela's violent political crisis boils over are a threat to pregnant women, pushing them to migrate to Colombia to give birth.
Lack of food and medicine as Venezuela's violent political crisis boils over are a threat to pregnant women, pushing them to migrate to Colombia to give birth.

Venezuela's political unrest has triggered a humanitarian crisis in the South American country.

While politics and the economy are at the heart of the current upheaval in the streets or in the halls of legislation, it is the ordinary people who are suffering, especially those who are sick.

Speaking to TRT World, a doctor working in Caracas described the collapse of the health care system, saying children are dying from the lack of basic medical supplies.

TRT World's Jon Brain has more.

Doctors, nurses, and activists in medical clothing, carrying signs and flags, made their way through the streets of Caracas in February.

Not usually active in politics, many of the OPEC nation's 40,000 doctors have become increasingly militant over drastic shortages of medicines, equipment, and personnel amid a punishing economic crisis.

At least eight out of 10 medicines are scarce, according to Venezuela's main pharmacy group. Up-to-date data is hard to find, but what little is available points to a severe deterioration.

Health ministry statistics show that in 2015 for every 100 people discharged from state hospitals, 31 died – a rate six times higher than the previous year. Infant mortality was 2 percent of births in 2015, 100 times worse than 2014.

Opposition leaders accuse the government of President Nicolas Maduro of delaying elections to avoid losing power amid an economic crisis marked by high inflation and chronic food and medical shortages.

Maduro rejects opposition accusations while blaming the US for fuelling protests against his government - a charge Washington denies, which has slapped sanctions against Maduro.

At least 125 people have died in anti-government unrest in Venezuela since April when the opposition launched protests demanding national elections to end nearly two decades of socialist rule.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies