CARICOM countries benefit from Operation Miracle

Campaign News | Monday, 12 January 2009

With the most recent incorporation of Barbados, all member countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) are already benefiting from the Operation Miracle free eye-surgery program developed by Cuba and Venezuela.

Last Saturday, a group 28 low-income Barbadians in need of surgeries to recover their sight arrived in Havana, where they will be treated at the Ramon Pando Ferrer National Ophthalmological Institute.

Full members of CARICOM are Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Surinam and Trinidad & Tobago.

The Operation Miracle program began on July 5, 2004, when the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez agreed to develop a cooperation program to help people in Latin America and the Caribbean recover or improve their sight.

Thus far, 1,384,343 people from 33 countries, including Cuban citizens, have undergone surgeries as part of the program.

A total of 265,443 of them have been operated upon in Cuba while the rest have received their surgeries in ophthalmological centers in 15

countries with state-of-the-art technology and equipment donated by the Cuban government.

In particular, in the Caribbean, 57,100 from 15 nations have benefited from this initiative.

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