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  • mhm, Sandra Contreras is wiping away tears outside a hospital in Lima, Peru.

  • It's not just because her mother is inside deeply sick with Covid, it's because to pay for the treatment, she has become so desperate that she may need to sell her own house.

  • And she's not the only one across Latin America where health care systems and social safety nets are thin.

  • Many people are being forced to put up the cost of treatment out of their own pocket at astronomical cost point.

  • All my things, I've been left without work, I told my siblings.

  • What do I care if we have to sell the house to save my mother?

  • We're going to do it.

  • That's my mother's house that she gave us.

  • There are others with her literally camping outside the hospital, such as Josslyn Marty Karina, who says she doesn't have any money to her name anymore and that the hospital is going to disconnect her father from a ventilator.

  • She doesn't know what to do.

  • The United Nations estimates that 22 million people in Latin America are being pushed into poverty because of the pandemic.

  • In Paraguay, for example, where the health care system has effectively collapsed, sparking protests.

  • Only about one in five people have Social Security or health care coverage through their employers, and only about 7% pay for private care.

  • The country does have free state run health care, but it's very limited.

  • In Brazil, we met Senti, a mellow who's paying about $3500 a month to care for her 87 year old mother at home, including a ventilator and visits from health workers.

  • There were absolutely no hospital beds with the help of family members, nephews, Children.

  • We also have the help of friends.

  • So it was a joint effort.

  • There are a lot of people who also offered to help who gave us oxygen.

  • That was all very important for her recovery to have mother back Patras e remind you of all.

  • Milo's mother is recovering, but the costs haven't finished yet.

  • The UN believes only about half of the people living in Latin America have received any form of monetary help from their government to help get through the crisis.

mhm, Sandra Contreras is wiping away tears outside a hospital in Lima, Peru.

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