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Pictures | Fri Mar 3, 2017 | 5:50pm GMT

Venezuela's signs of crisis

Drug shortages: Venezuela's brutal recession is worsening shortages of medicines from painkillers to chemotherapy drugs.

With 85 of every 100 medicines now missing in Venezuela, anti-convulsants are among the toughest drugs to find, Venezuela's main pharmaceutical association said.

An estimated 2 million to 3 million Venezuelans suffer from epilepsy at some point in their lives, according to Caracas-based support organisation LIVECE. Patients have been struggling to find specific anti-convulsive medicines as far back as 2012.

Due to untreated convulsions, progress has evaporated for otherwise functional people and those with severe disabilities who had managed to improve their mobility or speech.

Tatiana Rocha, baths her son Kaleth Heredia, 2, a neurological patient being treated with anticonvulsants, at their house in Caracas, Venezuela February 8, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Drug shortages: Venezuela's brutal recession is worsening shortages of medicines from painkillers to chemotherapy drugs. With 85 of every 100 medicines now missing in Venezuela, anti-convulsants are among the toughest drugs to find, Venezuela's main...more

Drug shortages: Venezuela's brutal recession is worsening shortages of medicines from painkillers to chemotherapy drugs. With 85 of every 100 medicines now missing in Venezuela, anti-convulsants are among the toughest drugs to find, Venezuela's main pharmaceutical association said. An estimated 2 million to 3 million Venezuelans suffer from epilepsy at some point in their lives, according to Caracas-based support organisation LIVECE. Patients have been struggling to find specific anti-convulsive medicines as far back as 2012. Due to untreated convulsions, progress has evaporated for otherwise functional people and those with severe disabilities who had managed to improve their mobility or speech. Tatiana Rocha, baths her son Kaleth Heredia, 2, a neurological patient being treated with anticonvulsants, at their house in Caracas, Venezuela February 8, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
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Deadly health risks: Shortages of basic drugs and vaccines, emigration of underpaid doctors, and crumbling infrastructure have made it easier for diseases to spread, medical associations said.
Many poor and middle-class Venezuelans also have weakened immune systems because they are no longer able to eat three meals a day or bathe regularly due to product scarcity, reduced water supply and raging inflation.
Jennifer Vivas, mother of Eliannys Vivas, who died from diphtheria, cries at the front porch of her home in Pariaguan, Venezuela. REUTERS/Marco Bello

Deadly health risks: Shortages of basic drugs and vaccines, emigration of underpaid doctors, and crumbling infrastructure have made it easier for diseases to spread, medical associations said. Many poor and middle-class Venezuelans also have weakened...more

Deadly health risks: Shortages of basic drugs and vaccines, emigration of underpaid doctors, and crumbling infrastructure have made it easier for diseases to spread, medical associations said. Many poor and middle-class Venezuelans also have weakened immune systems because they are no longer able to eat three meals a day or bathe regularly due to product scarcity, reduced water supply and raging inflation. Jennifer Vivas, mother of Eliannys Vivas, who died from diphtheria, cries at the front porch of her home in Pariaguan, Venezuela. REUTERS/Marco Bello
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Cash shortages spark unrest: The planned elimination of Venezuela's largest denomination bill sparked cash shortages, nationwide unrest, looting at scores of shops, anti-government protests and at least one death.  REUTERS/Carlos Eduardo Ramirez

Cash shortages spark unrest: The planned elimination of Venezuela's largest denomination bill sparked cash shortages, nationwide unrest, looting at scores of shops, anti-government protests and at least one death. REUTERS/Carlos Eduardo Ramirez

Cash shortages spark unrest: The planned elimination of Venezuela's largest denomination bill sparked cash shortages, nationwide unrest, looting at scores of shops, anti-government protests and at least one death. REUTERS/Carlos Eduardo Ramirez
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Elimination of some banknotes: The surprise pulling of the 100 bolivar bills, worth just 4 U.S. cents at the black market currency rate, led to vast lines at banks. Many Venezuelans had found themselves without the means to pay for food, gasoline or Christmas preparations. REUTERS/Marco Bello

Elimination of some banknotes: The surprise pulling of the 100 bolivar bills, worth just 4 U.S. cents at the black market currency rate, led to vast lines at banks. Many Venezuelans had found themselves without the means to pay for food, gasoline or...more

Elimination of some banknotes: The surprise pulling of the 100 bolivar bills, worth just 4 U.S. cents at the black market currency rate, led to vast lines at banks. Many Venezuelans had found themselves without the means to pay for food, gasoline or Christmas preparations. REUTERS/Marco Bello
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Protests flare and opposition grows: Maduro's currency measure has stoked anger among Venezuelans already weary of long lines for food and medicine amid product shortages. He blames the crisis on an "economic war" waged against his government to weaken the bolivar currency and unseat him.  REUTERS/Carlos Eduardo Ramirez

Protests flare and opposition grows: Maduro's currency measure has stoked anger among Venezuelans already weary of long lines for food and medicine amid product shortages. He blames the crisis on an "economic war" waged against his government to...more

Protests flare and opposition grows: Maduro's currency measure has stoked anger among Venezuelans already weary of long lines for food and medicine amid product shortages. He blames the crisis on an "economic war" waged against his government to weaken the bolivar currency and unseat him. REUTERS/Carlos Eduardo Ramirez
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Santa isn't coming: As the crisis makes food scarce for millions of Venezuelans, many families cannot buy their children Christmas presents, decorate their home, or even host a holiday dinner. With a recent currency depreciation pumping up prices even higher, some parents are simply canceling Christmas.  REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Santa isn't coming: As the crisis makes food scarce for millions of Venezuelans, many families cannot buy their children Christmas presents, decorate their home, or even host a holiday dinner. With a recent currency depreciation pumping up prices...more

Santa isn't coming: As the crisis makes food scarce for millions of Venezuelans, many families cannot buy their children Christmas presents, decorate their home, or even host a holiday dinner. With a recent currency depreciation pumping up prices even higher, some parents are simply canceling Christmas. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
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Parents give away their children: With average wages less than the equivalent of $50 a month at black market rates, three local councils and four national welfare groups all confirmed an increase in parents handing children over to the state, charities or friends and family. Struggling to feed herself and her seven children, Venezuelan mother Zulay Pulgar (pictured) asked a neighbor in October to take over care of her six-year-old daughter. "It's better that she has another family than go into prostitution, drugs or die of hunger," the 43-year-old unemployed mother said, sitting outside her dilapidated home with her five-year-old son, father and unemployed husband. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Parents give away their children: With average wages less than the equivalent of $50 a month at black market rates, three local councils and four national welfare groups all confirmed an increase in parents handing children over to the state,...more

Parents give away their children: With average wages less than the equivalent of $50 a month at black market rates, three local councils and four national welfare groups all confirmed an increase in parents handing children over to the state, charities or friends and family. Struggling to feed herself and her seven children, Venezuelan mother Zulay Pulgar (pictured) asked a neighbor in October to take over care of her six-year-old daughter. "It's better that she has another family than go into prostitution, drugs or die of hunger," the 43-year-old unemployed mother said, sitting outside her dilapidated home with her five-year-old son, father and unemployed husband. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
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The shelves are bare: Despite sitting on the world's biggest oil reserves, Venezuela is in the throes of a punishing recession that has many poor families skipping meals amid scarce food and triple-digit inflation.  REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

The shelves are bare: Despite sitting on the world's biggest oil reserves, Venezuela is in the throes of a punishing recession that has many poor families skipping meals amid scarce food and triple-digit inflation. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

The shelves are bare: Despite sitting on the world's biggest oil reserves, Venezuela is in the throes of a punishing recession that has many poor families skipping meals amid scarce food and triple-digit inflation. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo
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Tropical fruits provide lifeline: Venezuela's mango season provided some relief during worsening food shortages that are forcing the poor to skip meals and sparking a rash of lootings. Facing Soviet-style food lines for increasingly scarce products at supermarkets, more and more people are turning to the South American nation's lush mango, coconut and papaya trees. . REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Tropical fruits provide lifeline: Venezuela's mango season provided some relief during worsening food shortages that are forcing the poor to skip meals and sparking a rash of lootings. Facing Soviet-style food lines for increasingly scarce products...more

Tropical fruits provide lifeline: Venezuela's mango season provided some relief during worsening food shortages that are forcing the poor to skip meals and sparking a rash of lootings. Facing Soviet-style food lines for increasingly scarce products at supermarkets, more and more people are turning to the South American nation's lush mango, coconut and papaya trees. . REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
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Students and teachers ditch school: Education is no longer a priority for many poor and middle-class Venezuelans who are swept up in the all-consuming quest for food amid a wave of looting and riots. Between 30 percent and 40 percent of Venezuelan teachers fail to show up at school each day, mainly because they are standing in lines for food or medicine, their biggest union estimates. Pupils' attendance is also dropping because children have not eaten, know there will be no food at school, or must line up and help their parents shop. Here a girl arrives at an improvised classroom above a state-run supermarket.  REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Students and teachers ditch school: Education is no longer a priority for many poor and middle-class Venezuelans who are swept up in the all-consuming quest for food amid a wave of looting and riots. Between 30 percent and 40 percent of Venezuelan...more

Students and teachers ditch school: Education is no longer a priority for many poor and middle-class Venezuelans who are swept up in the all-consuming quest for food amid a wave of looting and riots. Between 30 percent and 40 percent of Venezuelan teachers fail to show up at school each day, mainly because they are standing in lines for food or medicine, their biggest union estimates. Pupils' attendance is also dropping because children have not eaten, know there will be no food at school, or must line up and help their parents shop. Here a girl arrives at an improvised classroom above a state-run supermarket. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
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Crossing the border to buy necessities: Some people traveled across Venezuela to line up overnight hoping to cross into Colombia when the border was reopened in August to buy food and other basics that are in short supply at home.  REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Crossing the border to buy necessities: Some people traveled across Venezuela to line up overnight hoping to cross into Colombia when the border was reopened in August to buy food and other basics that are in short supply at home. REUTERS/Carlos...more

Crossing the border to buy necessities: Some people traveled across Venezuela to line up overnight hoping to cross into Colombia when the border was reopened in August to buy food and other basics that are in short supply at home. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
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Zoo animals go hungry: Dozens of animals have starved to death at one of Venezuela's main zoos due to chronic food shortages that have plagued the crisis-stricken South American nation. Other animals are at risk across the country.  REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Zoo animals go hungry: Dozens of animals have starved to death at one of Venezuela's main zoos due to chronic food shortages that have plagued the crisis-stricken South American nation. Other animals are at risk across the country. REUTERS/Carlos...more

Zoo animals go hungry: Dozens of animals have starved to death at one of Venezuela's main zoos due to chronic food shortages that have plagued the crisis-stricken South American nation. Other animals are at risk across the country. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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A backdrop of uncertainty: Maduro, who has staved off an opposition push to hold a referendum to remove him this year, accuses his foes of seeking a coup against him with U.S. support. Maduro, whose term runs to January 2019, says his enemies are sabotaging Venezuela's economy, while critics blame failed socialist policies for the world's highest inflation, long lines at shops, and shortages of basics.   REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

A backdrop of uncertainty: Maduro, who has staved off an opposition push to hold a referendum to remove him this year, accuses his foes of seeking a coup against him with U.S. support. Maduro, whose term runs to January 2019, says his enemies are...more

A backdrop of uncertainty: Maduro, who has staved off an opposition push to hold a referendum to remove him this year, accuses his foes of seeking a coup against him with U.S. support. Maduro, whose term runs to January 2019, says his enemies are sabotaging Venezuela's economy, while critics blame failed socialist policies for the world's highest inflation, long lines at shops, and shortages of basics. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
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