Cancer patients in Venezuela’s Zulia State declare themselves in emergency after six months without receiving treatment

Cancer patients in Venezuela’s Zulia State declare themselves in emergency after six months without receiving treatment


Patients suffering from breast cancer in Zulia, a western Venezuela state, have at least six months without receiving oncological treatment consumables and drugs from the high-cost pharmacy. The medication shortage has already caused 15 women to die, as reported by other patients.

Lexzys Lugo / Correspondent

Tired of waiting, they decided to go to the headquarters of the Single Health Authority in Maracaibo to demand a response. They claim not to have $1,500 to buy the drug trastuzamab, but they are struck by the fact that despite the delay in the allocation of the drug, it is available in the mobile pharmacy that is dependent on the national government. Where it is available and can be bought for an amount that ranges between 500 and 600 U.S. dollars.

Maribel Fuenmayor, an oncology patient, said that she has been fighting for her life for four months when she completed the chemotherapy process. She calls loudly for the delivery of the medication, which acts as a blocker so that the disease does not progress.

“If I don’t take the medication, I will miss the chemotherapies, the disease will advance. I’m desperate, I don’t have enough money to buy it, because if I had it, I wouldn’t be begging for it to be assigned to me Mr. President, put your hand on your heart, deliver the medicines to us,” she said.

Isabel Peña, who suffers from breast cancer, afflicted and anguished, asked the National Executive for mercy and clemency. She said that for a government it should be a priority to care for the sick who cannot afford medications due to their high cost.

Peña says that every Friday when the medications supposedly arrive at the pharmacy, they come hoping to get them. She also denounced inhuman treatment by the employees and management of the high-cost pharmacy.

María Auxiliadora Márquez has been free of the disease for four years and is the administrator of a WhatsApp group for cancer patients. She denounced the aggressiveness towards the more than 700 people who come to get the medicine from this public institution.

Márquez pointed out that the lack of blockers (medicine that stops the progression of cancer) has already been the cause of the death of some patients. The social fighter promotes support, change and fight for good treatment and timely allocation of treatment.

They said that the only thing they have left is the desire to continue living. That is why they will remain on the streets until they receive the shipment and allocation of these medications. They emphasized that Zulia State continues to be marginalized by President Maduro, because medicines do reach the other states.