The Venezuelan exodus to Roraima and its repercussions

Maduro Venezuela 19.jpg

UN Photo/Cia Pak President Nicolás Maduro Moros of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela addresses the seventy-third session of the United Nations General Assembly.

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Guilherme Wandall, currently in the second semester of medicine at FURB in Brazil. He is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


The great migration from Venezuela to Brazil in 2018 was a sudden event that affected Roraima, the Brazilian state destined for the Venezuelans. The great influx of migrants, although abrupt, was an essay for future events that may require need of humanitarian shelter, and a health system for foreigners.

The purpose of this article is to understand the reasons that led the Venezuelan stay in Brazilian territory to be considered chaotic, and to seek solutions to this problem, as well as, to make a viable health system for foreigners.

Introduction

According to the UN, the number of Venezuelan migrants is expected to exceed 5 million by 2019, making this migration event the largest exodus in modern Latin American history.

As a global reaction, humanitarian aid was sent to the country, however, this did not reduce the migration of Venezuelans to their neighbors.
In Brazil, the state of Roraima – a direct border with Venezuela – was, and still is, the main affected in this scenario. The large population flow destabilized the state’s bases, and consequently, there were cuts and a lack of infrastructure overall.

In relation to health, hospitals and health centers had to face a lack of resources such as electricity and medicines. In addition, xenophobia was an important exponent of violence, and consequently, the precariousness of serving migrants.
Development

Although an event of this magnitude could not be predicted, the fact that the migration was irregular was the main cause for the provided stress. The lack of adequate supervision to document the entry and exit of Venezuelans in Brazil made it impossible to manage the needs of this population.

In the context of health, it is well known that the SUS system could not cope with this situation.

Although the principles of SUS ensure care for foreigners, it is notorious that the State faces complications to the economic management of the system, evidence of this would be the constant scrapping.

With this is mind, a solution to the problem would be to expand SUS administration.
If the health system were used by different countries in a similar way to Mercosur, user accounting, resource management and overall service effectiveness could be set up in a faster and more organized way.

With this organization, there is more coherence in the humanitarian actions of each country, and the influx at the borders can be distributed in a balanced way, avoiding an accumulation of foreigners in a single country.
Conclusion

The Venezuelan exodus has shown that South America faces difficulties to assist its migrants, especially in the subject of ​​health.

If the SUS system were used by the countries involved, even temporarily, the migration process would be less traumatic, since it would bring closer together both countries economically, politically and socially.

About the author

Guilherme Wandall (18) is currently in the second semester of medicine at FURB in Brazil. He discovered IFMSA in a symposium, and since then, decided to partake in the projects available to extend his curriculum and for their well spirited nature.
Being a college student in the first year of medicine makes you feel disconnected from the rest of the world, since most of your work revolves around theory and understanding the basics. A chance to discuss contemporary events is a necessary breath of fresh air.

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