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Operation Miracle Project  benefited over 1.5 million people from 35 countries
Of this total, over 1,331,000 are from countries other than Cuba, where 266,743 have undergone surgery at Cuban facilities, reports CubaCoopera, a website belonging to the Caribbean nation's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The rest of these complex surgeries have been carried out in 60 ophthalmologic centers making the most of 91 surgical facilities donated by Cuba to Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Uruguay, Mali and Angola.

Other countries which have received similar equipment are Peru, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, there are over 37 million people worldwide suffering blindness caused by preventable diseases, and over 1.5 million of them are children under 16.

The prevalence of blindness varies in relation to the degree of economic development of each country, thus while the incidence of this disease is 0.25 percent in developed nations, it can reach a full one percent in underdeveloped countries.

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

The development of this cooperation program resulted from an agreement penned by leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on July 5th, 2004.

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