Dominica and Venezuela sign eye care agreement
Dominica and Venezuela sign eye care agreement

Dominica and its friend Venezuela signed the agreement for "Mission Milagro" or Miracle Mission last week.

Dominica's Minister for Health and the Environment Dr Kenneth Darroux signed on behalf of Dominica and the Ambassador of Venezuela Hayden Pirela for Venezuela. The ceremony was held at the Financial Centre on January 27.

"Today we are to begin a great humanitarian mission, Mission Milagros. The mission has been going on in other islands in the Caribbean with great success St Vincent, Grenada, St Kitts, Antigua and now Dominica," Pirela said.

He noted that the intention of the mission is not to interfere with the private medical sector and the intention is strictly humanitarian.

"We will always respect the work of the local doctor," Pirela said.

The mission started in 2004 and so far it has helped restore vision for more than four million people on Latin America and in the Caribbean, the ambassador said.

Meanwhile, Minister of Health and the Environment Dr Kenneth Darroux said the job of identifying patients will continue over the next several months.

"We intend to identify Dominicans patients suffering ophthalmological pathologies such as cataract pterygiums who continue to overwhelm our very own hard working and dedicated ophthalmology staff," he said.

He noted that the screening will be done at several strategic locations across the island allowing equal opportunities for voluntary access.

"Once the need for surgical intervention have been established the full pre-operative testing will be conducted and all qualified patients will have access to pre-operative evaluation and later surgery, most of which will occur right here in Dominica with the help of highly trained competent teams of ophthalmologists from Venezuela," he said.