As of June this year, a total of 40,882 Venezuelans with visual impairments and 1,894 foreigners, primarily from Ecuador, El Salvador, Chile, Honduras, and Guatemala have received operations to correct their vision through Mission Milagro (Miracle Mission in Spanish).
Mission Milagro emerged to serve thousands of people in the poorest sectors of the country who were unable to fully develop due to visual impairments like cataracts, pterygium, and palpebral ptosis.
The coordinator of Mission Milagro International, Manuel Pacheco, indicated this Thursday that the total of 42,776 patients attended has resulted in closer to 42,872 surgical procedures, since some patients required more than one surgery for their visual impairments. “Remember that depending on patient pathology, in some instances it is necessary to perform 2 operations on the same person. Generally, in such cases, it is one operation per eye,” said Pacheco.
He indicated that the main afflictions treated in the operating rooms of the Mission are pterygium (which affects the cornea) with 7,413 procedures; cataracts at 4,810; and 8,067 surgical extractions of foreign bodies.
Regarding the national hospitals authorized to attend to the Mission’s patients, Pacheco said that most of those operations have taken place to date in Caracas, Lara, and Maracaibo.
Specifically, “In the hospitals of Caracas the greatest number of procedures has been done by military Doctor Carlos Arvelo, with some 5,036 operations; Doctor Miguel Perez Carreño with 4,397; and Doctor Domingo Luciani with 2,669. Likewise, 3,193 procedures have been performed in Antonio María Pineda Hospital in Barquisimeto, Lara and 3,176 in the University Hospital in Maracaibo.”
Pacheco indicated that in total there are 46 national hospitals where patients of Mission Milagro are served.
Bolivarian News Agency, Press Unit of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United States / July 9, 2009