More than 1.38 million free eye operations performed

Campaign News | Tuesday, 27 January 2009

More than Eleven Thousand Venezuelans recovered vision in January

Some 11,700 people in Venezuela recovered their vision in January, after being operated on thanks to Operation Miracle, a project boosted by that nation and Cuba, aimed at helping people of scant economic resources to recover their sight.

The international coordinator of this program, Manuel Pacheco, told the press in Caracas that, from this figure, 10,831 were operated on by Cuban specialists working in Venezuela, while 861 were patients seen by doctors from that South American nation. Pacheco added that another 363 Venezuelans are waiting to be operated on in their country, between this week and February 1st.

He highlighted that, as well, 456 Latin Americans, coming from Honduras, Paraguay, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Ecuador, will also be operated on.

The joint work by Cuban and Venezuelan specialists, he stressed, made it possible to operate on patients, and to begin the surgery procedures with those found during the travelling campaigns to identify potential patients, held in 2008, Prensa Latina news agency reports.

So far, more than 1,384,300 people from 33 nations, including Cubans, have been operated on under this eye program, the CubaCoopera Web site reports. From this figure, 1,212,098 are foreigners, 265,443 of whom have been operated on in Cuba. The rest underwent surgery in 57 eye centres, with 88 operating rooms equipped with high technology, donated by the archipelago to 15 nations.

In Third World countries, the main causes of blindness are cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, infectious diseases, and Vitamin A deficiency

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