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The Ministry of Health will be hosting a service of appreciation for the contribution that the Cubans have made to Jamaica's health care system over the past 40 years.

Themed, ‘Celebrating 40 years of Cuba’s Contribution to Health’, the function will be held on Tuesday, December 11, at the Ministry’s  head office, located at 2-4 Kings Street in Downtown, Kingston.            

Director of International Co-operation in Health at the Ministry, Ms. Ava-Gay Timberlake, noted that Jamaica is indebted to the Cuban government and Cuba’s Ministry of Public Health for the contributions made to health since 1972, especially in the areas of biomedical engineering and ophthalmology.

Ms. Timberlake said that as a result of the bilateral agreements, “we have Jamaican medical professionals coming out of Cuba, and this year we have close to 600 doctors in various facets of medicine in Cuba."

Throughout the years of partnership, the ‘Operation Miracle Eye Care’ was launched, and later expanded to become known as the 'Ophthalmology Centre’, at the St. Josephs Hospital in Jamaica, and facilitated by Cuban professionals.

Since the programme’s inception in 2010, over 4,100 surgeries have been performed, over 15,000 persons have been screened and over 38,000 individuals have visited the Ophthalmology Centre.

"Jamaica is most appreciative of this internationalist medical service from Cuba, always in a spirit of goodwill and humanism,” Ms. Timberlake said.