Food shortages in Venezuela, South America, has caused a dramatic increase in child malnutrition.
In the capital of Caracas alone, the number of cases of severely malnourished children is reported to have at least doubled.
According to Dr Ingrid Soto, chief of nutrition at children hospital J. M. de los Ríos, so far this year 65 kids have been admitted, whereas in all of 2015 the total was 35. And across the socialist country seven children under the age of 14 have died from simply not having enough to eat.
According to freelance journalist María Emilia Jorge, writing for Fox News Latino, 66 per cent of the children admitted this year to J. M. de los Ríos are nursing babies, according to hospital records. And the consequences of this are not only dire, but irreversible.
Dr Soto said: ‘If an adult suffers from malnutrition, it will not affect his brain and development so much as it would a kid in the first 1,000 days of life, then they will have issues with memory, concentration, school problems’
In the city of Maracaibo, Zulia state, Maria del Carmen Chourio, a five-year-old girl with cerebral palsy weighed just 11 pounds until she was admitted to Chiquinquirá Hospital thanks to the support of the Angeles Chiquinquireños Foundation.
Caroline López, says the foundation is currently supporting 12 other children hospitalized for lack of food.
President Nicolas Maduro stated recently that ‘the ‘Maduro diet’ makes you hard’.
Laura Montilva, 22, visited the hospital in search of treatment for her five-month-old son who weighs just 8.5 pounds.
He is one of 60 children being treated at J. M. de los Ríos Hospital, Venezuela’s main pediatric hospital, for malnutrition.
‘I don’t have money. I don’t feed him well and I can’t buy him milk formula,’ she told Fox News Latino.
But it is not just children suffering malnutrition because they are living in poverty.
A survey conducted in 2015 by Venezuela’s Central University, Andrés Bello and Simón Bolívar showed that 76 percent of Venezuelans live in poverty and 49 percent in ‘critical’ poverty.