This week, I had the opportunity to spend the whole hour on the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show with a physician who is in the “belly of the beast” of Venezuela.

Image/Jim Goodson, M.P.H.
Image/Jim Goodson, M.P.H.

In this segment of the interview,  infectious diseases pathologist and clinician at the IDB Biomedical Research Institute in Barquisimeto, Venezuela and founder of the Venezuelan Science Incubator, Dr Alberto E. Paniz-Mondolfi, spoke of the epidemic situation with the vaccine-preventable disease, measles.

Dr. Paniz-Mondolfi discussed the origins of the outbreak of a disease that was interrupted in the country back in 2007. He also looks at interruption of the national immunization program, how it’s affected  indigenous populations and the spread of the contagious virus to other countries in the region.

When asked about getting a child vaccinated in Venezuela, Paniz-Mondolfi said, ” It’s erratic, the public health system is basically in decay.

“Months before the measles and diphtheria kicked in, it was basically impossible to access vaccinations in the public health system.

“You could, with luck, you could access vaccines in the private health system; however, these vaccines were sold at international prices.”

LISTEN to the full interview with Dr. Paniz-Mondolfi: Venezuela epidemics: From measles to malaria with Dr. Alberto Paniz-Mondolfi

Visit the Venezuelan Science Incubator (Incubadora Venezolana de la Ciencia)