Strengthening of the Health System
The UN evaluated prioritized hospitals through the UN’s standardized instruments for preventing and controlling infections. Water, sanitation, and hygiene contributed to safe and quality care and infection control. Also, generators and other electrical solutions were installed to continue the service.
The work to deal with the pandemic continued by supporting the National Vaccination Plan against COVID-19. Regarding other diseases, USD 8.1 million was invested in five million doses of eight vaccines from the regular vaccination program and three million for measles and rubella. It was complemented by reinforcing the cold chain at the central and regional levels.
Furthermore, the coverage of HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and tuberculosis services was expanded, and the MPPS made progress in implementing the National Malaria Plan with the technical support of the UN.
Sexual and reproductive health
Concerning sexual and reproductive health, the UN contributed to rehabilitating and conditioning ambulances and care spaces in centers of the National Public Health System (SPNS, for its acronym in Spanish) where health and protection personnel were trained. Seven hundred ninety tons of supplies were also delivered for 124,000 deliveries, 96,000 prenatal consultations, 12,400 neonates in critical care, and 511,000 pediatric consultations.
Through training and sensitization, the communities learned to recognize the warning signs in pregnancy and the newborn or the importance of receiving care in the first 72 hours after an episode of violence. All this enabled care networks to meet the health, protection, and legal advice needs and avoid re-victimization.
Working together for health
The health area has the most significant joint initiatives among UN agencies, funds, and programs. One of the most outstanding examples of coordinated interagency work is the projects within the Framework of the Master Plan for Strengthening HIV, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Response, which are integrated into the work of the Joint UN Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
UNFPA, UNICEF, PAHO/WHO & UNDP
UNFPA, UNICEF, and PAHO/WHO have been working for more than four years to train service personnel in maternal and child health, UNICEF and UNFPA in comprehensive care for adolescents and clinical management of sexual violence, UNICEF and PAHO/WHO in the area of vaccination, and, for four years, PAHO/WHO and UNDP in malaria control.
All these actions were coordinated with the health authorities.
IOM & UNHCR
In Bolívar, IOM and UNHCR coordinated with local authorities to establish an outpatient medical center to meet the needs of 26 hard-to-reach indigenous communities.
UNFPA, UNICEF, PAHO/WHO & UNAIDS
Regarding training, UNFPA, UNICEF, PAHO/WHO, and UNAIDS supported the MPPS and the University of Health Sciences with the Adolescent Care Certification Focused on Life Course and Primary Health Care to strengthen the skills of health personnel at all levels of care and to increase care coverage.
Leaving no one behind
Coordination with civil society has been vital in increasing the access of vulnerable groups to rapid diagnostic tests for HIV and syphilis. Together with the MPPS and the Ministry of Popular Power for the Penitentiary Service (MPPSP, for its acronym in Spanish), HIV tests were performed on 3,800 inmates.
In addition, the support provided by the UN and the resources of the Global Fund to the Strategy for the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmissions (PMTCT) of HIV has achieved the distribution of pediatric antiretrovirals (ARVs) and ARVs to prevent mother-to-child transmission in pregnant women with HIV.
Venezuelan and international civil society, in coordination with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Joint UN Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), implemented advocacy actions before the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, which mobilized exceptional resources for Venezuela.
Thanks to the ARVs purchased with resources from the Fund and the community-based project, “Searching for and enrolling people with HIV in the Venezuelan health system and community monitoring of ARVs,” Víctor was re-enrolled in the health system and received the antiretroviral therapy he needed: “I am thrilled that I got them. Thanks to them, I am alive.”
Like Víctor, more than 11,000 people living with HIV have been re-enrolled in the health system in Venezuela, and 60,000 people receive life-saving treatment on an ongoing basis.