KINGSTON, Jamaica. Tuesday, February 06, 2024: Approximately 5,847 Jamaicans have been assessed for treatment since the reopening of the Jamaica/Cuba Eye Care Programme in September of last year.
The announcement was made by Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton today (Tuesday, February 6) while on a tour of the St. Joseph’s Hospital facility in Kingston, which was recently refurbished and repaired to carry out both pre- and post-operative care under the programme.
Of that number, 2,562 have been prepped for surgery, while 1,226 have been screened for their condition.
Minister Tufton says he is happy with the progress being made under the programme.
“I have not been able to visit the facility since its reopening, so I had to take this opportunity to come on the ground and hear from the team and patients. I am happy to report that we have completed more than 1,200 procedures including laser treatments and surgeries. Unfortunately, some 200 persons who were prepped for surgeries could not do it because of various uncontrolled NCDs. So we will need to continue to work with those persons”, the Minister said.
Cuban Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Fermin Gabriel Quinones, who was also on the visit noted that it was important for these and other related initiatives to regain traction after the disruptions caused by COVID-19.
“It is a very important moment, and we are delighted to have visited and seen the progress happening at this facility. Our partnership with the health sector continues to bear fruit and we are happy that Jamaicans can benefit from the expertise and services under the programme, noted the Ambassador.
The facility currently staffs 20 members, including 3 Jamaicans and 17 Cubans inclusive of a Lab Technician, 6 Ophthalmologists, a Bio Medical Engineer and 8 Nurses.
Minister Tufton extended his courtesies to the staff at the facility and highlighted the need for more collaborations of this magnitude in the Jamaican health system.
“I want to thank both the teams from Cuba and Jamaica for their efforts in resolving eye related issues, and I am confident that with this continued collaboration, we will be able to help many Jamaicans overcome their eye issues”, Dr. Tufton added.