30th May 2016
The Pre-operatory phase of the Miracle Mission programme is now in progress.
The Venezuelan team of medical doctors arrived in Antigua over the weekend to continue this phase of the miracle mission eye care programme for patients who were previously indentified for surgery during the mission's last trip, but were unable to complete the process.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and the Environment Walter Christopher welcomed the group on behalf of Health and the Environment Minister Honourable Molwyn Joseph who was abroad on government business.
Christopher expressed deep appreciation for the humanitarian programme that has already benefitted scores of nationals.
Individuals to be seen this week are those who were pre-screened by MSJMC'S Resident Ophthalmologist Dr. Martiza Quintero, a former member of the Miracle Mission team who led the first visit one year ago.
Venezuelan Ambassador to Antigua and Barbuda Carlos Perez further explained the rationale for this trip.
''We are in the continuation phase of the programme to perform surgeries for cataract and pterygium for some of the patients who are pending from last year. Remember it is important to note that for last year, the number of people that went for screening had surpassed our expectation and for this trip we would like to conclude with these patients that are pending", Ambassador Perez remarked.
Ambassador Perez said the list was further updated and other patients could be included once space is available.
The medical team which comprises one Doctor who specializes in internal medicine and two Ophthalmologists will be working with the patients at the Mount St. John's Medical Center for the rest of the week to conduct the pre-operatory tests.
After they've completed this task, a second team of surgeons will arrive on island to perform the surgeries, followed by the arrival of a fresh batch of surgeons the following week.
Ambassador Perez said the programme represents the high level of cooperation which exists between both countries.
Ricardo Riera Director of Miracle Mission Venezuela said he is looking forward to successfully completing the programme.
In 2015 the programme got underway with 1,481 individuals being screened for both ptergium and cataract, Riera said once the Mission is completed next month, individuals can continue to visit the MSJMC's outpatient eye clinic for routine as well as emergency eye care.
This round of surgeries will begin on June 11th.
The programmes total benefit to Antigua and Barbuda was $1.7 million dollars.
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