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VENEZUELA-POLITICS/HEALTH
RTS2HSHU
May 15, 2019
11,000 Venezuelans' dialysis treatment has been thrown into disarray by a wave of blackouts in the oil-rich...
La Concepcion, Venezuela
The Wider Image: Venezuela dialysis patients face uncertain fate after power cuts
11,000 Venezuelans' dialysis treatment has been thrown into disarray by a wave of blackouts in the oil-rich but crisis-stricken South American country. Electricity has largely been restored to the capital city of Caracas after two nation-wide power outages in March and April. But many other parts of Venezuela now have power for only several hours per day under a rationing plan put in effect by President Nicolas Maduro. Few places have been harder-hit than sweltering Maracaibo, the country's second-largest city, which still experiences power cuts lasting 10 hours or more per day. That has led to water shortages, making it hard to provide the minimum 120 liters (32 gallons) of water doctors say is needed for a full dialysis session. Dialysis requires consistent supplies of power and water to provide the recommended treatment of three or four hours, three times a week. Venezuela's public hospitals for years have provided free dialysis treatment, thanks to abundant oil revenue and generous health-care spending. But since the economy crashed along with oil prices in 2014, new equipment rarely arrives and the existing machines are not maintained, doctors say. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino SEARCH "MARCELINO KIDNEY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY. Matching text: VENEZUELA-POLITICS/HEALTH
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