Venezuelans Turn To Alternative Medicine Amid Shortages

first_imgBy Margioni Bermúdez / AFP November 22, 2019 The small waiting room at the home of self-styled healer “Brother Guayanes” in Caracas’ rundown Petare district fills up quickly with patients — business has never been better.With Venezuela’s chronic medicine shortages and hyperinflation, more and more people are turning to alternative medicine to treat common ailments in the crisis-wracked South American country.“We go to the hospital and there’s nothing there. They don’t have medicines, or they’re too expensive. What are we to do?” said Rosa Saez, 77, who has come to get treatment for a painful arm.Carlos Rosales — he uses the more ceremonious “Brother Guayanes” for his business — is finishing up a “spiritual intervention” on a patient in what passes for his surgery.The patient lies, eyes closed, on a cot as, in a series of swishes and clicks, the healer waves five pairs of scissors one after another over his prone body.The healer says he performs 200 such interventions a week in a dim, candle-lit room that features two camp beds and an array of plaster statues that Rosales says represent “spiritual entities.”A regular visitor to the spiritual center, Saez says she has faith in Rosales’ methods: “He healed my kidneys.”Natural healingAll across Venezuela, but particularly in poor areas like Petare, patients cannot hope to afford the price of medicines that due to the economic crisis have become exceedingly rare. Venezuela’s pharmacists’ federation say pharmacies and hospitals have on average only about 20 percent of the medicine stock needed.Rosales’ clinic is muggy with the smell of tobacco. A crucifix suspended from a chain around his neck, he practices a seeming mixture of smoke-blowing shamanism, plant-based medicine, and mainstream religion. Posters hung near the entrance remind clients to arrive with a candle and tobacco and “Don’t forget that payment is in cash.”Much like a general practitioner, Rosales spends time consulting with his patients, examining them with a stethoscope, before offering a diagnosis. Often he prescribes potions based on plants and fruit, such as pineapple and a type of local squash known as chayote.“We know medicines are necessary,” he says. “I’m not against medicine, but my medicine is botany.”Plants replace drugsAt her stall in a downtown Caracas market, 72-year-old Lilia Reyes says she has seen her trade in medicinal plants flourish.“I can’t keep up with the demand,” she said at her stall, bathed in the aroma of chamomile, one of the 150 plants she sells.Careless consumption of some herbs can be deadly, warns Grismery Morillo. A doctor at a Caracas public hospital, she says she has seen many cases of acute liver failure in people who have eaten certain roots.According to Venezuela’s opposition parties, some 300,000 chronically ill people are in danger of dying from the shortages of medicines. But despite the risks, people like Carmen Teresa say they have no alternative.In the kitchen of her restaurant, which closed down three years ago as the economic crisis took hold, the 58-year-old Colombian prepares an infusion of fig leaves to treat “diabetic neuropathy.”The painkillers needed for the condition are “too expensive” and prices are going up due to hyperinflation, so she is cutting back on the pills and supplementing her treatment with herbal infusions.She needs at least four tablets a day to keep her diabetes at bay. Her mother, bedridden since breaking a leg a year ago, suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and needs five pills a day for hypertension.“I’m still taking my pills, but I reduced the dose,” says Teresa, who is also replacing cholesterol pills with lemon juice.last_img read more

Pochettino wants Messi union at Newell’s Old Boys

first_imgMauricio Pochettino would welcome the opportunity to work with Lionel Messi at Newell’s Old Boys, with both men eager to return to their roots at some stage. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 The former Tottenham boss, who remains out of work since parting company with the Premier League side in November 2019, told Radio del Plata: “I want to return to Newell’s with Messi. “I can still wait, [for an opportunity] and the best [possible scenario] would be in 10 years with Messi.” He has seen questions asked of his future, following the reveal of an exit clause in his contract, but the Blaugrana are eager to agree fresh terms with their talismanic captain. On an international stage, Messi is expected to remain part of the Argentina set-up through to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Pochettino says that event remains “a huge goal for Messi and for the Argentine team.” “It’s a good feeling to be at that level and it was a very good performance and very good result for us. The only disappointment was not getting Neymar’s shirt. Read Also:Salah prompted by Messi’s claim to stun the world “But I don’t think he was in a very good mood after the game. I asked at the end but it was already taken – I think the other lads in the team must spend the entire game asking him which is something I would never do. But I got Coutinho’s so I’m happy enough with that.” Two prominent Argentines have gone on to enjoy considerable success a long way from their homeland. Neither, though, has forgotten their roots, with Newell’s having represented the first port of call for both. Pochettino began his career with the Rosario-based club, while Messi enjoyed a spell within the club’s youth system before being absorbed into the famed La Masia academy at Barcelona. The six-time Ballon d’Or winner has made no secret of the fact that he would like to make a competitive appearance for Newell’s before hanging up his boots. If the decision is taken to head home, then it could be that coaching opportunities are also embraced by Messi. Whatever happens, Pochettino has made it clear that he is ready to answer the call and form a possible dream team.Advertisementcenter_img Promoted Content11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table TopCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?Top 7 Best Car Manufacturers Of All Time7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend Better5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme ParksA Hurricane Can Be As Powerful As 10 Atomic BombsSome Impressive And Almost Shocking Robots That Exist10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoBest Car Manufacturers In The WorldDid You Know There’s A Black Hole In The Milky Way? Loading… last_img read more