The Journal of Travel Medicine highlights the work of Ashleigh R Tuite, Andrea Thomas-Bachli, Hernan Acosta, Deepit Bhatia, Carmen Huber s well as other researchers and their work analyzing the current humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, focusing specifically on how the current economic and political crises has impacted the resurgence of disease outbreaks like tuberculosis, HIV, malaria, diphtheria as well as others. The article analyzes how the breakdown of Venezuela’s health care system relates to Venezuelan migration patterns throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Researchers concluded that migration patterns have experienced significant hikes throughout the health crisis and the article presents statistically grounded data to estimate the quantity and locations of the largest number of Venezuelan migrants. Recognizing where migrants are relocating is an essential field of study especially in working to control the spread of infectious diseases.
The article compiles data on infectious disease outbreaks amongst Venezuelan migrants, collects mobility data on Venezuelans living abroad, and develops mobility modeling alongside air travel analysis in order to estimate population flows from Venezuela to neighboring countries. Researchers work to combine known data like flight records and reported numbers of Venezuelan nationals living abroad with mobility modeling in order to estimate unaccounted for illegal migrants. Researchers use outbreaks in previously-controlled infectious diseases to similarly account for undocumented migrants and utilize this information to predict countries that are likely to be at risk of infectious disease outbreak in the future. Due to the lack of current public health surveillance in Venezuela, researchers recognize that data collection and estimations are likely just a portion of the larger picture of the infectious disease outbreak affecting Venezuela and neighboring communities.
In working to understand the current migration crisis in Venezuela and analyze effects of mass migration for a global audience, it is essential to recognize different systematic causes that led to this mass exodus. The article works to paint a more complete picture of the current migration influx that is impacting nations in Latin America and the United States. While presenting the issue of infectious disease spread, the article also addresses the lack of accessibility to healthcare in Venezuela that forced many to flee. Throughout future study of human rights, this article is relevant because it revolves around the multifaceted nature of human rights violations. Venezuela’s political and economic crisis lead to a consequential collapse of health care services, like access to vaccines. From this lack of access to the right to health an immigration crisis emerged. This article provides a unique jumping off point for scholars studying human rights violations associated with displaced migrants and mass migration. By providing a background and a narrative that began with migrants’ own nations’ negligence that resulted in their position as stateless individuals, scholars can further develop an informed understanding of the complexities of human rights issues associated with migration.
The photo above shows groups of Venezuelan migrants, families with children, young people, approaching the Columbian border to seek out basic health services no longer accessible in Venezuela. This photo humanizes the issue of Venezuelan disease-outbreak with depictions of families and people traveling without any belongings in order to seek treatment to preventable diseases that are now life-threatening. The photo is from Amnesty International’s website which can be found here: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/03/venezuela-unattended-health-rights-crisis-is-forcing-thousands-to-flee/