JIS News

Following a temporary break, eye screening under Phase two of the Jamaica/Cuba Eyecare Project will resume in western Jamaica on Monday(April 27).
Project Coordinator, Claudetta Williams-Yearde told JIS News that between April 27 and June 12, residents in Westmoreland, St. James, Hanover and Trelawny will be able to visit select health centres for eye screenings.
Under phase two of the programme, pterygium and cataracts have been added to the list of conditions that will be treated.
“We are looking for patients who have cataract or pterygium. Our main focus under phase two is to find those people who have the cataracts and conduct the surgeries before they go blind,” Mrs. Williams-Yearde said.
Cataracts, she explained, are one of the leading causes of blindness in Latin America.
She implored residents to support the screening activities, which has expanded its target to reach 12,000 Jamaicans. The procedure is conducted by a Cuban ophthalmologist, who then refers those selected for treatment to the Ministry of Health in Kingston, to be processed and scheduled for surgery in Cuba. Persons are sent to Cuba for surgeries every 21 days.
According to Mrs. Williams-Yearde, plans are afoot for a facility to be constructed to allow Cuban ophthalmologists to perform these surgeries locally. Until then, all operations will be done in Cuba.
She said that during the short break, however, the team was able to clear a backlog of surgeries from previous screenings. “We still had persons going to Cuba every 21 days,” she said.
In Hanover, screening will take place at the Sandy Bay, Green Island, Hopewell, Lucea and Ramble health centres, April 27-May 8. The team will then move to the Falmouth Health Centre, Trelawny, May 11-15 and then to the Albert Town Health Centre, May 26-29.
In Westmoreland, the team will conduct screenings during the week of June 1-5 at the Little London Health Centre. The last stop will be in St. James, at the Cornwall Regional Hospital, June 10-12.
The Jamaica/Cuba Eyecare Project Coordinator hopes to begin screening in the North Eastern region, which covers Portland, St. Mary and St. Ann, in July.
For further information, persons are invited to call the office of the Jamaica-Cuba Eye Care Project at 924-9287, 948-0017 and 967-1100/7.

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