More than three million patients have recovered vision thanks to the Operation Milagro. The second phase will expand the attention to the African peoples without decreasing the number of operations on patients from Latin America and countries of ALBA
More than three million patients across the world, especially in Latin America, have benefited from the Operation Milagro created on July 8, 2004 by Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez.
Venezuelan Gabriela Soler, national coordinator of this program, which has restored the sight to so many people for free, noted that these figures are due to the quick increase after the initiative was given a new official thrust last June.
Soler said that the second phase comprises of the installation of optics and workshops to carve crystals or lenses, new equipment for some of the surgical centres, a plan to continue to train ophthalmologists and opticians in Venezuela, the establishment of a statistics centre to register the patients’ pathology and those who are prone to undergo eye surgery, among other measures.
In addition, 22 hospitals in Venezuela are expected to serve as pilot headquarters of the operation in this second phase. The goal of this program is to also provide attention to the criminal population in penitentiaries, disabled people who have not been registered and indigenous inhabitants in their regions.
The social program not only includes surgery, but also implies the supply of corrective lenses, inquiries to add people with visual disabilities and a project to prevent eye problems.
The most common health conditions under treatment by the ophthalmologists through these nine years are: cataracts, pterygium, glaucoma and strabismus.
In the act of re-launching the operation, celebrated two months ago, Venezuela’s Executive Vice-president Jorge Arreaza, said that this project, which will entail giving more attention to the African people without reducing the number of patients from Latin America and countries of the ALBA under medical attention, will be under the rectorship of Virginia, Hugo Chavez’ daughter.
The Vice-president praised the professionalism of the Cuban health personnel, which has been the heart of this operation, considered a pride and joy for Commanders Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez.
The Operation Milagro, created in 2004 to treat Venezuelan patients in Cuba, spread to Latin America and across the planet when in August 2005 Fidel and Chavez signed the Sandino Pledge in both countries to assist six million people within ten years – especially from the Third World- with different visual difficulties.
By: Osviel Castro Medel
Email: digital@juventudreb elde.cu