Health Minister Dr. Kenneth Darroux has revealed that over 500 patients have been identified for possible surgical intervention following Phase One of a Venezuelan Eye Care Programme in Dominica, dubbed “Miracle Mission”.
“I have been informed that almost over 2000 patients were screened, so far over 500 patients are being identified for possible surgical intervention and we are talking about patients with cataract and pterygium that is a corneal growth,” he revealed.
Dr. Darroux pointed out that the program was in no intended to substitute the ongoing ophthalmologic eye programme of Dr. Shillingford Ricketts who he said has been doing a tremendous job in Dominica.
“I know she is going through some personal issues now, family issues and I really want to wish her well…,” he said. “What we plan on doing is that patients who would have been on the waiting list for our local ophthalmologist for the past time, they would be given priority and any other would have to fit on the list.”
He said the Venezuelan team is expected to return in January to do the actual surgical procedures.
Meantime, Dr. Darroux thanked the Venezuelans for a successful completion of phase one of the Miracle Mission.
“You will recall that a few years ago that we had a similar mission where a number of our citizens would have been taken to Cuba, so this is the second leg of such a mission, this time being spearheaded by the Venezuelan medical authorities with assistance from Cuban counterparts,” he explained.
He thanked the Venezuelan friends as well as local Doctors and health personnel who started screening from the Roseau Health District and culminated in St Joseph.
The program was sponsored by the Governments of Venezuela and Dominica. It provides eye care for the less fortunate.