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Story Publication logo July 18, 2023

The Cost of Giving Birth in Venezuela (Spanish)


A woman stands in a wooded area with her hands on her hips.

This is Prodavinci’s in-depth coverage relating to the myth of public and free health care in...

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An English summary of this report is below. The original report, "El costo de parir en Venezuela," published in Spanish by Prodavinci, follows.

According to the constitution, the Venezuelan state must guarantee free maternity health services at all stages. In this reporting project, Prodavinci found that pregnant women must pay for the laboratory work and ultrasounds required during pregnancy, and they usually buy essential medical supplies. Some must seek private healthcare when the public system falls short, which increases their out-of-pocket expenses. They face a decision between using money for their obstetric health and meeting other basic needs, such as food.

In 2020, a total of 259 women died for every 100,000 live births, due to complications related to pregnancy and childbirth in Venezuela, according to the United Nations Population Fund. The local maternal mortality rate is higher than the average rate for Latin America and the Caribbean by 171 percentage points.

Low income limits pregnant women from covering routine prenatal care, necessary to diagnose the risk of preeclampsia, urinary tract infections, and the proliferation of bacteria in the genital tract. These are the stories of seven of them. 

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