Giving Compass' Take:

• Anastasia Moloney explains how Venezuela's health care crisis hurts women and girls through lack of access to contraception, abortion, and proper maternal care. 

• How can funders best support the needs of women and girls in conflicts and crises? 

• Learn about women's needs in storms and conflicts


Millions of Venezuelans have fled the country to escape an economic and political crisis that has left about seven million - one in four - in need of humanitarian aid, according to the United Nations.

Its human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said last week after a three-day mission in March to the troubled South American country that Venezuela's healthcare sector was in "critical condition."

A lack of basic medicine and equipment was "causing preventable deaths," she said — something Correa is witnessing first hand.

Infection rates at the maternity hospital are high because cleaners do not have disinfectants to wash away bacteria and there are no sterilizers for doctors to clean their equipment, she said.

"Currently, maternity is a risk for Venezuelan women, as it is for babies ... many give birth at home, in the street," Correa said.

"And there are no blood banks. Any complications from heavy bleeding is a very big risk of death for a patient."

Correa, the UN and women's rights groups all said unsanitary hospital conditions along with food and medical shortages had led to a rise in maternal mortality rates.

According to the UN report, teenage pregnancies have risen by 65% since 2015, and several cities in Venezuela face a "100% shortage" of all types of contraception.

Due to Venezuela's strict abortion law, which only allows the procedure under limited circumstances, some women and girls resort to unsafe abortions.

This has contributed to an rise in preventable maternal mortality, with about 20% of maternal deaths reportedly linked to unsafe abortions, the UN said in its report.

Read the full article about Venezuela's health care crisis by Anastasia Moloney of the Thomson Reuters Foundation at Global Citizen.