Medical Teams has an established presence in Colombia in an effort to support the influx of Venezuelan migrants.

Without food and medicine, no option but to leave

For years, tensions have simmered in Venezuela, forcing millions of people from their homes. Families leave to escape the violence and insecurity. They leave because it’s hard to even access basics like food and medicine.

More than 4 million Venezuelans have fled their home country. According to UNHCR, this is the largest migratory flow ever recorded in Latin America.

Colombia has received the highest number of Venezuelan migrants — nearly 2 million people. The influx of migrants isn’t likely to decrease in the near future. A lack of documentation and unaffordable services prevent many migrants from getting care. Because of this, emergency health centers are overrun. The demand for primary health services has completely overwhelmed the health system. Now, COVID-19 is making a bad situation worse.

This migration has dealt a massive blow to the health situation in Colombia. Cases of malnutrition and preventable diseases have surged, while maternal and neonatal health has plummeted.

Today, more than 1.4 million people in Colombia — both Venezuelan migrants and vulnerable local families — need immediate health assistance.

Connecting people to life-saving care

We are responding in a coastal region of Colombia with limited health care and an influx of Venezuelan migrants. Your support will help train Venezuelan migrants as health workers. This program will provide crucial support to the local health system.

Volunteer health workers will be trained to reach out to their neighbors and promote healthy behaviors. After attending health education sessions, they’ll return to their neighborhoods to share what they’ve learned, creating a multiplying effect that benefits the whole community. They will monitor high-risk people, like pregnant women, children and the elderly. Volunteers will also provide referrals to subsidized care.

For migrants who have left everything behind — homes, family, jobs — this program can also provide a sense of purpose. Many are educated and eager to put their skills to use but can’t work in Colombia.

Community health workers are a vital and impactful way to send eyes and ears out into the local community and connect people with life-saving care.