Ongoing critical shortages of medical supplies and services can make life precarious in Venezuela, goading some to seek health care abroad.
So many have fled to neighboring Colombia for health and other reasons that its president, Juan Manuel Santos, announced last week that his country would beef up security along the 2,205-kilometer border. Just last month, Santos had reiterated Colombia's longstanding offer of "humanitarian support in the matter of food and medicines," and his criticism that "the Venezuelan government has refused because they do not want to accept the serious crisis they have on their hands."
Colombia's foreign ministry estimates that roughly 600,000 Venezuelans have arrived in the country, straining the health system.
Among them is Jasmine Sibulo, who, in the midst of labor pains, left an under-equipped hospital in her Venezuelan hometown of San Antonio del Tachira in search of a safe facility in this teeming border city.
Sibulo said she had