Mission Miracle programme winding down

-ophthalmology hospital to open in April
As the National Ophthalmology Hospital prepares to start operations next month the 79th batch of Mission Miracle patients assembled on Tuesday at Ramphal House to register for departure to Cuba for eye surgeries.

Minister within the Ministry of Health Dr Bheri Ramsaran said that since the initiative started in 2006 thousands of Guyanese and people across the Caribbean and Latin America have benefited, many having their sight restored.

The batch of 50 patients was referred from the Leonora, Suddie, Diamond and Mahaicony diagnostic and treatment centres and the Linden, New Amsterdam and Georgetown hospitals, he said. Patients are expected to spend three weeks in Cuba after surgeries to allow doctors to monitor their progress to ensure maximum recuperation.

According to Dr Ramsaran these flights are liquidating the backlog of cataract patients. Cataract is one of the most common eye ailments seen in patients and the programme has treated thousands of such cases since its start.

Patient Rookmin Sukhoo who is returning to Cuba for a second surgery said she appreciated the service and commended the Cuban team. Meanwhile Violet Davidson who will undergo surgery for cataract in the right eye expressed “much gratitude to the Government of Guyana for allowing me to travel to get my eye fixed and allowing me the opportunity of making my maiden flight to a foreign land.”

The patients met with Cuban surgeons Jose Antonio Fernandez and Elsa Coverra and Diplomatic Attaché to the Cuban Embassy Nelson Avenas. Dr Ramsaran urged them to be good ambassadors for their country while reminding them that they need to respect the Cuban culture.

Meanwhile a database of persons for surgeries continues to be generated from the diagnostic and treatment centres, the ophthalmology hospital and from the Linden, New Amsterdam and Georgetown hospitals. The ophthalmology hospital is expected to provide a range of services when the installation of equipment is completed and it is fully commissioned.

The institution is expected to conduct 10,000 eye surgeries per year. Government has said patients from neighbouring countries are also expected to benefit from services at the hospital as it will be the first of its kind open in the Caribbean.

According to GINA, government provides patients with a stipend during their stay though the treatment, travel, accommodation and meals are provided free of cost.

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