Connecting communities of Venezuelan migrants to health care.
hygiene vouchers distributed
health care workers trained
Medical Teams was quick to respond when millions of people began leaving Venezuela’s desperate economic situation and crossing into Colombia. The calling was clear: Colombia’s health care system couldn’t meet the growing demand and Venezuelans needed medicine, food, and care.
In 2019, we launched our first program site to improve access to health care for Venezuelans and Colombians alike. Since then, we’ve added 5 more sites.
Our programs leverage the strength of the communities we serve. We train community health volunteers to educate and connect their neighbors to health care. They do everything from holding workshops about health issues to handing out vouchers for things like basic hygiene supplies. We’re making sure people can see a doctor when they need one, especially women and kids. We care for expecting mothers and help them deliver their babies safely.
We work alongside Venezuelans — who have made the courageous decision to leave home in search of a better life — to improve health in their communities.
Our areas of work
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In the last decade, more than 7 million Venezuelan people have made the difficult decision to leave home because of the intolerable living conditions in Venezuela. Today, Colombia hosts about 2.5 million Venezuelan migrants.
Many Venezuelans go back and forth between Colombia and Venezuela. They leave behind family and their homes in search of work and food. It’s often a difficult trip between the two countries. And it means people never feel truly settled in either place.
People who make the journey go with hope for opportunity — the chance to work, to eat, to live safely, and to access medical care. They go because they are pregnant and can’t get prenatal care. They go because their children have a chronic illness and medicine is too expensive in Venezuela. They go for survival.
Many Venezuelan migrants are educated and eager to support their neighbors. Our community health workers find purpose in our programs, especially those who are unable to legally work in Colombia. They inspire, educate, and heal their own communities.
Colombia has welcomed about 2.5 million people from Venezuela. More arrive every day as the situation in Venezuela becomes increasingly dire. Venezuela’s worsening economy has made it difficult for people to get jobs or access basic needs, like food and medicine. Additionally, political instability and the lack of resources have made living in Venezuela very dangerous.
Though Colombia’s government has tried to support Venezuelan migrants, the COVID-19 pandemic weakened their health care system. Malnutrition cases and infant mortality are on the rise. Also, many Venezuelan migrants are forced to live in remote or difficult to reach places where there is little infrastructure.
Our team in Colombia consists of about 70 staff members at 6 different sites across the country. Most of our full-time staff are from Colombia. Nearly 60% of our team are local volunteers or community health workers from the communities we serve. We value and respect their unique insights and perspective on what their neighbors need.
Note: The numbers and statistics reflected on this page were collected from October 2021 – September 2022.
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