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The 15-member Cuban health team which is in Jamaica to work under the Jamaica/Cuba Eye Care Programme, has held meetings with its Jamaican counterpart at the Ministry of Health in Kingston to push ahead the medical project, reported the Jamaican Information Service (JIS).

The Cubans have been in Jamaica for the past two weeks, ahead of the official launch of the Ophthalmology Centre at the St Joseph's Hospital, Kingston, which was established as part of the Jamaica/Cuba Eye Care Agreement, highlights JIS.

The Centre, which will be launched on Wednesday 27, will accommodate Jamaican and other CARICOM nationals in need of free eye care services.

Minister of Health, Rudyard Spencer, welcomed the Cuban team, saying Jamaica was "extremely grateful" for the assistance from its Spanish-speaking neighbour. He assured the Cubans that the Ministry would ensure their comfort and a rich and rewarding experience.

Spencer also noted that this initiative would strengthen relationship between Jamaica and Cuba.

Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr Sheila Campbell Forrester, said that, under the programme, Jamaica would be responsible for providing the medical facilities, support, administrative and medical staff, disposables, accommodation, meals, transportation and medical care for the Cuban team. Cuba will provide the technical staff, equipment, medicines and other inputs.

The conditions to be treated are: cataracts, opacity of the lens; pterygium, the fleshy growth over the eye; and diabetic retinography, which is damage to the back of the eye, or excessive blood vessel growth from uncontrolled diabetes, JIS detailed.

Under the Cuba/Jamaica Eye Care Program, about 1,000 persons per year have been going to Cuba for surgeries, however, this Centre in Kingston will allow for the treatment of 5,000 patients per year.

Cuba's Ambassador to Jamaica, Yuri Gala Lopez, said it was an honour for his country to contribute to the well-being of Jamaicans, and that the team was anxious to get started.

Source: PL

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