>> As Venezuela's crisis rapidly worsens, hospitals across the country are struggling to cope with shortages of everything from drugs to medical equipment, leaving doctors and nurses unable to do their jobs. Reuters correspondent Andreina Aponte is in Caracas.>> I recently speak to a mother that lost her 12-year-old kid.
He was undergoing dialysis in this hospital, the main pediatric hospital in Venezuela. And he died because the machines weren't cleaned properly. I spoke to the head of the kidney unit here, and she told me that they didn't have proper sanitary conditions. They didn't even have soap to clean up before procedures.
>> Compounding the problem, a steady flow of patients, many of them children who are suffering from malnutrition, making these kids easily susceptible to contract diseases.>>
>> A survey carried out by a local charity found that, in the poorest parts of some of Venezuela's most populous states, nearly half of kids under five are malnourished. Children, like Maritza, who live in shacks in La Guaira, which has the country's highest rate of malnutrition among children, are dealing with severe hunger on a daily basis.
As their parents struggle to put food on the table in a sinking economy.>> It makes me sad. I want to cry for my brothers because they cry and ask for food from my mother. And my mother cries and says there isn't any money to eat.>>
>> Sometimes my mother doesn't get anything. We have to buy it on the black market. Or sometimes my father doesn't have enough money to buy anything.>> With hospitals failing to keep up with the demands of the malnourished, it's the youngest of the young that that are hurting the most.
Deaths of infants under one, rising 30% last year.