Sources: Antiguan Observer, TeleSUR
August 15 2015
The team of Venezuelan eye specialists are on the Caribbean island to attend to patients with a range of visual issues.
1500 screened, 347 to receive surgery
Venezuelan Ambassador to Antigua Carlos Perez told local media that over 340 Antiguans have been registered to receive care and treatment after screening over 1,500 nationals earlier this year.
“Three hundred forty-seven patients qualified for surgeries for Pterygium and cataracts,” Perez said. Pterygium refers to a growth in the clear, thin tissue of the eye. He added that the Venezuelan government is pleased to add Antigua and Barbuda to the list of countries which receive assistance as part of the Miracle Eye Care Program.
“This cooperation is in the framework of the agreement that we call ‘Mission Miracle’ which is the eye care mission promoted by Venezuela. That agreement was signed during the visit of Foreign Minister Darcy Rodriguez during her last visit to Antigua at the end of March,” he added.
Six medical teams from Venezuela will visit Antigua and Barbuda
Six medical teams will visit Antigua and Barbuda to conduct surgeries over the next six weeks. While 347 patients will be seen, Perez said over 500 surgeries will be conducted, as some patients required multiple surgeries to restore their sight.
Fourteen other Caribbean countries are part of the medical mission, which has been in existence for 11 years and has restored the sight of thousands of patients across Latin America and the Caribbean.
Over 10,000 Saint Lucians have already been assisted
The Health Ministry in Saint Lucia says the program has assisted over 10,000 Saint Lucians with vision problems.
Apart from dispatching Venezuelan eye specialists to the countries, patients also travel to Venezuela for sight-saving surgery. In July, 14 nationals of St. Vincent and the Grenadines received free eye surgery in Venezuela.
The social program is the brainchild of Venezuela and Cuba and was launched on July 8, 2014. It seeks to help low-income people with visual impairments through free, specialized medical care.
More than 3 million people have been treated under the program.
Source: Antiguans Benefit from Latest Round of Miracle Eye Care Program TeleSUR