June 6, 2008
Cuba funded ‘Vision Now’ programme resumes

Cuba contributes millions of dollars worth of critical service to St Vincent and the Grenadines, and while the Spanish speaking Caribbean country is not in a position to give cold hard cash to this country, its contribution is crucial in the development of many sectors.{{more}}

One such sector is health, and as he announced the resumption of the Vision Now programme, Minister of Health Dr Douglas Slater made the observation about Cuba’s contributions, and hailed the success of Vision Now.

Some 2000 eye surgeries have been done under the Vision Now programme since its inception in 2005, and as the programme resumes, Dr Douglas Slater says that the programmme is going to eventually merge into a full time Ophthalmology programme at the Georgetown Medical Complex.

“This programme is intended to merge into a programme at the medical complex in Georgetown. In fact, we are going to establish an ophthalmology unit in that centre,” Dr Slater said at a press conference last Tuesday at the Ministry of Health office.

The Complex that is being constructed in collaboration with the Cuban government will also feature a Kidney Dialysis unit. Government is also working towards it being the base of a medical school.

Dr Slater said that he expects full ophthalmology service to get on the way next week, with the 10-member Cuban team, which is led by 27-year-old Ophthalmologist, Dr Ivis Sosa.

Dr Slater reminded the public that the Vision Now programme, which started with Vincentians being sent to Cuba for eye surgeries courtesy the Cuban government, and developed further to the point where a team came from Cuba to do the surgeries here, is not geared towards conducting regular eye tests for the prescription of glasses.

He said that the programme is geared towards dealing with conditions that require surgeries.

The Cuban team includes four nurses, another ophthalmologist, an optometrist, and an internal medicine specialist.

Cuban Ambassador to St Vincent and the Grenadines, Olga Chamero Trias, said that her country was glad to be making another contribution to the development of St Vincent and the Grenadines. (KJ)