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Barbadians to Undergo Eye Surgery in Cuba
With the incorporation of Barbados, there are now 14 members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) benefiting from this program. Serving Latin America and the Caribbean, free of charge, the program is sponsored by the governments of Cuba and Venezuela.

Specialized personnel from the archipelago carried out a survey of the Barbadian patients at the Reina María Hospital in their country, one of the islands of the Lesser Antilles located between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The island has a little over 279,900 inhabitants.

On July 5, 2004, the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez agreed to undertake the cooperation program care for people suffering from this ailment.

So far, 1,384,343 patients from 33 countries –including Cubans– have been operated on, the website CubaCoopera reported.

Of this figure, 1,212,098 are foreigners, 265,443 of whom have been operated on in Cuba. The rest underwent surgery in 57 eye centers using high-tech equipment donated by the archipelago to 15 countries.

In Third World nations, the main causes of blindness are cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and infectious diseases like trachoma, onchocerciasis and Vitamin A deficiency.


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