Adults suffering from treatable illnesses and other vision problems are now able to receive care thanks to the Venezuela’s eye care team, ‘Mision Milagro’, currently performing surgeries at the Princess Margaret Hospital.
In December 2016, the International Miracle Mission started in Dominica working in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Environment.
All seven Health District Centres were targeted: Roseau, St Joseph, Laplaine, Castle Bruce, Marigot, Portsmouth and Grand Bay as well as the Princess Margaret Hospital.
In a media interview on Wednesday, the Honourable Minister for Health, Dr Kenneth Darroux, thanked the Venezuelan Government for fulfilling their commitment to this programme.
The Miracle Mission is a social eye care international programme from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Venezuelan Ambassador to Dominica, His Excellency Hayden Pirela Sanchez, stated that this mission is part of the legacy of deceased President Hugo Chavez.
The agreement was made between President Chavez and Honourable Prime Minister, Dr Roosevelt Skerrit and now continues with President Nicholas Maduro.
“I believe that our mission here in Dominica, my staff of the embassy is working different than all the embassies in the World. We are helping the people here. I believe that when you are doing something for health that the people who recover their sight, it’s a good labour. Venezuela now we have problem but we won’t stop our commitment with Dominica.”
The Miracle Mission Foundation works in phases for the procedures; Visual diagnosis session, Pre-operative testing session, pre-operative evaluation session, Surgery session, and Post-operative session for cataract and pterygium.
The first rotation focuses on St Joseph, Castle Bruce, La Plaine, and Roseau.
Acting Director of Primary Health Care, Dr Phillip St. Jean, stated that he is quite pleased with the participation of patients and his primary health care team who were responsible for the logistics of the programme.
“Initially, we expected that this phase, the surgical phase was going to last 5 weeks based on the number of patients that we had on the list however quite a few of the patients opted out or they may have done the surgery before so the list was curtailed. It was shortened a bit so we are anticipating another week of that phase involving the four districts that we talked about. While the patients are doing their surgeries, there is accommodation to do what they call post-op evaluation so the patients have been capitalizing on that as well.”
Every week a team of seven comes from Venezuela for surgeries on a rotational basis; 3 Ophthalmologists (1 post-operative and 2 surgical), 1 Anaesthesiologist, 1 Internal Medicine and 2 Instrumentalists.
Dr. St Jean has advised patients in the second rotation, which concentrates on Portsmouth, Grand Bay and Marigot, to expect a call from their district nurses.