Cuba opens two hospitals in Ecuador

Campaign News | Sunday, 18 June 2006

Vice President Carlos Lage inaugurates Operation Miracle facilities

QUITO, June 16: Cuban Vice President Carlos Lage inaugurated two ophtalmalogical hospitals in Ecuador, with equipment and doctors from Cuba, as a contribution to reinforcing cooperation between the two nations.

The official opening of those facilities, which are part of the Operation Miracle programme, was presided over by Ecuadorian President Alfredo Palacio and Lage, representing a step forward in building closer bilateral relations.

One of these clinics is located in the city of Latacunga, capital of the Andean province of Cotopaxi. It has been providing services since May 29, including operations for more than 400 Ecuadorians.

The other is located in Santa Elena, in the province of Guayas, and like the first has an operating room and 30 beds for patients who live outside the area.

Benigno Pérez, Cuban ambassador in that country, noted that his government and the Ecuadorian one have signed two agreements for the operation of these facilities.

In Latacunga, an agreement will be signed by Cuba, Ecuador and the Cotopaxi government, and in Santa Elena, both nations will sign a second agreement along with the National Institute for Childhood and the Family (INNFA), to which the second hospital is attached.

Pérez emphasized that Cuban technical and professional personnel, comprising two medial brigades (each of 25 people), will be responsible for performing the operations.

"Cuba is contributing all of the equipment, supplies and medicines for the success of this mission," he said, adding that post-operative services would also be provided, including eyeglasses for those who need them.

The diplomat reiterated that this is a programme free of charge aimed at benefiting low-income people who do not have the resources to pay for this type of operation.

The Cuban vice president, who arrived in Quito on Thursday, June 15, laid a floral wreath at the José Martí monument in this city known as Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World).

Shortly before, the visitor toured the La Capilla del Hombre museum, a masterpiece initiated by the well-known Latin American painter Oswaldo Guayasamín.

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