Liaison Officer Romel Springer (second from right) and a nurse from the Winston Scott Polyclinic listen to queries from patients on the trip to Havana.  

Twenty Barbadians are set to leave here tomorrow, Saturday, January 10, for Cuba to take advantage of a free eye surgery programme known as “Operaci????n Milagro” (translated as Operation Miracle).

They will be accompanied by chaperones as well as Liaison Officer, Romel Springer, an administrative officer in the Ministry of Health, who spent today addressing their concerns and briefing them on living arrangements and cultural norms in Cuba. The briefing session was held at the Winston Scott Polyclinic.

Mr. Springer, outlining the objectives of the meeting, said: “Though primarily designed to disseminate information, it is an opportunity for you to get acquainted with each other and to let you know about the expectations of the Cuban authorities.”

Under the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Cuban Medical Services (CMS) of the Republic of Cuba and the Government of Barbados for the implementation of “Operaci????n Milagro”, the CMS covers free air transportation to Havana as well as accommodation and meals.

According to him, the 20 patients, who are between the ages of 30 and 75 years, will undergo surgery for cataract.  They, along with their chaperones, are expected to stay in Cuba for approximately two weeks, after surgery, to recuperate and receive aftercare.

Operaci????n Milagro was approved by Cabinet in 2007 and is a joint venture between the Governments of Cuba and Barbados to assist patients, awaiting surgery for cataracts at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, to have such surgery done in Cuba. At that time, over 400 patients were on record as awaiting eye surgery.
The project commenced last October and is set to be executed over a one-year period.

So far, the Cuban Government has provided one of the two agreed upon ophthalmologists, Dr. Maritza Migueli, to screen the patients who are assessed in terms of their need and fitness for surgery and travel, prior to travelling to Cuba.
To date, over 1.5 million patients from 70 countries have benefitted under Operaci????n Milagro.  It stands as one of the major successes for Cuba’s solidarity with Latin America and the Caribbean.  In the Caribbean alone, this programme has assisted approximately 54,210 individuals, that is, one person in every 304 inhabitants of the region.

The programme was founded in 2003, but officially launched in 2004 with the assistance of Venezuelans. They will be accompanied by chaperones as well as Liaison Officer, Romel Springer, an administrative officer in the Ministry of Health, who spent today addressing their concerns and briefing them on living arrangements and cultural norms in Cuba. The briefing session was held at the Winston Scott Polyclinic.

Mr. Springer, outlining the objectives of the meeting, said: “Though primarily designed to disseminate information, it is an opportunity for you to get acquainted with each other and to let you know about the expectations of the Cuban authorities.”

Under the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Cuban Medical Services (CMS) of the Republic of Cuba and the Government of Barbados for the implementation of “Operaci????n Milagro”, the CMS covers free air transportation to Havana as well as accommodation and meals.

According to him, the 20 patients, who are between the ages of 30 and 75 years, will undergo surgery for cataract. They, along with their chaperones, are expected to stay in Cuba for approximately two weeks, after surgery, to recuperate and receive aftercare.

Operaci????n Milagro was approved by Cabinet in 2007 and is a joint venture between the Governments of Cuba and Barbados to assist patients, awaiting surgery for cataracts at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, to have such surgery done in Cuba. At that time, over 400 patients were on record as awaiting eye surgery. The project commenced last October and is set to be executed over a one-year period.

So far, the Cuban Government has provided one of the two agreed upon ophthalmologists, Dr. Maritza Migueli, to screen the patients who are assessed in terms of their need and fitness for surgery and travel, prior to travelling to Cuba.

To date, over 1.5 million patients from 70 countries have benefitted under Operaci????n Milagro.  It stands as one of the major successes for Cuba’s solidarity with Latin America and the Caribbean. In the Caribbean alone, this programme has assisted approximately 54,210 individuals, that is, one person in every 304 inhabitants of the region.

The programme was founded in 2003, but officially launched in 2004 with the assistance of Venezuelans.

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