Sunday, June 21, 2015

Operation Miracle, Not Available to Cubans

Operation Miracle, Not Available to Cubans / 14ymedio, Fernando Donate Ochoa
Posted on June 19, 2015

14ymedio, Fernando Donate Ochoa, Holguin, 19 June 2015 — Operation
Miracle has as its objective to return vision to or cure any
ophthalmological problem for low-income citizens of poor countries. The
humanitarian project was started in mid-2004 under the leadership of the
governments of Cuba and Venezuela, and thanks to it about a million
patients have been operated on every year. However, this medical service
has not been as successful inside Cuba as it has been abroad.

The surgical waiting list extends more than 30 days in the Ophthalmology
Center at the Lucia Iniguez Landin Clinical Surgical Teaching Hospital
in the city of Holguin. The departure of professionals to other sectors
and the exodus caused by international medical missions have contributed
to the increase in service deficiencies. To this is added the lack of
surgical instruments and difficulties with the air conditioning in
operating rooms, sources from local hospital officials explained to

Supply problems for frames and lenses in the eyeglass industry don't
help to improve the eyecare situation in Holguin, with the Provincial
Company of Pharmacy and Optics continuing to experience problems since
last year. The eyeglass frames that can be seen in Holguin
establishments are few, outdated and uncomfortable, leading most
customers to reject them.

The problem affects not only the four opticians of the capital city.
According to Caridad Garcia, a worker at one of the establishments on
centrally located Martí Street, the shortage extends to the other ten
opticians in the province.

The situation has reached the extreme that, on occasion, the customer is
asked to bring their own frames to hold the lenses. However, there are
also delays with the graduated glass, because the lens grinding workshop
lacks the specialized personnel needed, and the equipment frequently
breaks down, having been in use for 20 years without renovations.

The National Directorate of Public Health has reported that the country
does not have sufficient resources to meet demand, a fact for which
there does not appear to be a short or medium term solution.

Currently, 4,405 Holguin health professionals are serving on
international missions spread across 45 countries.

Source: Operation Miracle, Not Available to Cubans / 14ymedio, Fernando
Donate Ochoa | Translating Cuba -

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