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140 Eye Surgeries on St. Lucian Patients in Cuba Almost Complete

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Wednesday, September 07, 2005 - The majority of Saint Lucian patients now in Cuba for eye surgeries under the Cuban Eye Care programme are said to have received their treatment. Word of this has come from Saint Lucian officials monitoring the ‘Miracle Plan Project’ in Havana.

Head of Mission of Saint Lucia’s Embassy in Cuba Mr. Peter Lansiquot says despite language and cultural barriers, the patients are extremely cheerful. He says the experience will serve well in handling future groups under the programme.

“There have been a few delays because the Cuban doctors in many instances needed to check out other medical conditions before they could actually perform the surgical interventions to the eyes. This is particularly the case with people with diabetic and hypertensive conditions,” Mr. Lansiquot said.

The 140 Saint Lucian eye patients are in the company of Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Health Honourable John Odlum and Ms. Eve Felicien, a young St. Lucian doctor. Mr Odlum says he is very pleased with the way the programme has progressed, but says the experience has been quite challenging.

“We’ve been having meetings with them daily. They are in two different hospitals and we travel to both of them daily and have discussions with the— find out how they’re feeling, what they’re missing and what have you—And I must report, it has been very cordial to date. I spoke to my Ministry not to long off over the weekend and advised them, that I need help with about two students to come up and help with translation and treatment of the people,” Mr. Odlum said.

Some of the eye patients now in Cuba may have to return to the Spanish speaking Caribbean nation for more treatment because of complications with their present conditions. When this group returns to St. Lucia, another batch of patients will be flown to Cuba for more eye surgeries.

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