At least 17 people have died in Venezuela’s nationwide blackout—and this hospital is struggling to keep its patients alive.
Hospitals across the country are reportedly turning people away as doctors struggle to treat existing patients without electricity or sufficient medication.
70% of Venezuela was plunged into darkness on March 7 after a substation of a major hydropower plant failed. The station provides power for four out of five Venezuelans.
Many hospitals have been forced to run on generators. Some employees can’t get to work with public transportation down. Current president Nicolás Maduro blamed the blackout on the U.S. and claims cyber-attacks targeted the nation’s electric system. Energy officials say the station failure is likely due to years of neglect.
Venezuela was once Latin America’s richest country but it has suffered from political and economic turmoil for years. Food and medicine shortages are common and hyperinflation has left its currency, the Bolivar, practically worthless.
Opposition leader Juan Guaidó says the 17 victims of the blackout were “murdered” by Maduro’s government and he urged Venezuelans to protest the blackout.
At least 15 people have reportedly died from kidney failure after the blackout prevented them from receiving dialysis and proper medical treatment.