ROSEAU –– An agreement for free eye surgery and optimal care to the less fortunate in Dominica was officially signed today.
Miracle Mission, a famous eye care programme of cooperation carried out by ALBA, will take place in Dominica by Venezuelan eye specialists.
That agreement was signed between Minister of Health Dr Kenneth Darroux and the Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to Dominica Hayden Pirela Sanchez.
Darroux said the aim of the mission was not to interfere or upset any ongoing eye programmes on the island.
“In fact, we look at this programme as a way to enhance what is already going on because we should be naive to pretend that we do not know sometimes the cost of involving these surgical interventions by the local services, especially as it pertains to the private services,” he said at the signing ceremony held at the Financial Centre.
According to him, the free service will provide an opportunity for persons who needed surgical interventions as it pertains to pterygiums and cataracts.
Furthermore, Darroux stated the ministry would undergo a massive training programme in the upcoming months to identify persons who were most in need of intervention.
“Over the next several months we intend to identify Dominican patients suffering ophthalmologic pathologies such as cataracts and pterygiums, who continue to overwhelm our own very hardworking and dedicated ophthalmology staff and under the principles of solidarity, equality, and mutual respect to have these persons screened and fully access,” he explained.
Darroux indicated the screening would be done in several strategic locations across the island, “allowing equal opportunity for voluntary access that once the need for surgical intervention has been established, the full pre-operative testing will be conducted and all qualifying patients will have access to pre-evaluative operation and later surgery, most of which will occur right here in Dominica with the help of highly trained
and competent teams of ophthalmologists from Venezuela”.
“Follow-ups will continue and full documentation of treatments and procedures will be made available,” he noted.
Meantime, Ambassador Sanchez also said the intention of the mission was not to invade the private medical sector.
“Our intention is to help persons who are less fortunate,” he said. “We will always respect the work of the local doctors.”
He indicated that over the years the mission had helped to restore the vision of over four million people in Latin America and the Caribbean. Miracle Mission is a humanitarian social programme created within the framework of the Sandino Commitment between the governments of Venezuela and Cuba, with the aim of providing eye care to a huge number of people suffering from eye health problems, who for socioeconomic reasons has no access to those medical treatments.