Jamaica and Cuba highlight results of joint ophthalmological program

Kingston, Feb 7 (Prensa Latina) Authorities from Jamaica and Cuba highlighted the results of a cooperation program in the ophthalmological field that since last year allowed 1,230 people to recover their vision, an official source confirmed today.

According to the Government Information Service (JIS), the Minister of Health, Christopher Tufton, expressed satisfaction that after the restart of the project, surgeries were successfully performed on 368 patients suffering from cataracts and 160 with pterygium, in addition to laser treatments on 702 persons with diabetic retinopathy.

During a tour of the Saint Joseph hospital, he added that the Antillean doctors also offered 5,847 consultations, on average a day they receive more than 100 people for different reasons and operate on twenty.

“The population has very positive comments about the personal interaction, customer service, procedures, results and how their vision improved. “I am very happy with this collaboration, we are able to help many Jamaicans and we will continue to do so,” said Tufton.

The program coordinator, Natasha Biggs, explained that 17 doctors from Cuba provide services at the Kingston Public Hospital and the Saint Joseph Hospital in the parish of Saint Andrew, the two centers where the initiative is being developed.

Meanwhile, Havana’s ambassador here, Fermín Gabriel Quiñones, valued the program as a testament to the friendly relations and spirit of collaboration between the two Caribbean nations.

Likewise, he expressed his satisfaction with the patients’ welcoming the Cuban doctors and predicted that in one year many more Jamaicans will receive treatment for their health problems thanks to the continuity of the project.

After being interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, Kingston resumed this health care program at the end of 2023, which runs with the support of Cuban collaborators to detect and treat patients with different eye diseases.

Apart from medical services, it also includes training of Jamaican ophthalmologists and assistance in equipment maintenance.

In October 2022, the two Caribbean nations signed a letter of intent regarding the continued provision of a medical brigade to Kingston.

Another similar document contemplated the renewal of an agreement for the operation of an Ophthalmology Center that, over the years, facilitated greater access to high-quality and timely services.

The parties sealed their first agreement in this health field on July 28, 2009, then in January 2010 they inaugurated a clinic in that territory and since then Cuban professionals have offered services there.

Official data indicate that thanks to this program between 2010 and 2019, more than 35,000 patients were examined, 21,412 received surgeries and 17,000 were prevented from going blind.

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