wikileaks Guyana – US trying to out perform Cuba’s “Miracle Mission” eye surgery program


Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06GEORGETOWN706 2006-07-18 12:16 2011-08-26 00:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Georgetown

VZCZCXRO2011
RR RUEHGR
DE RUEHGE #0706 1991216
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 181216Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3810
INFO RUCNCOM/EC CARICOM COLLECTIVE
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA

UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 000706

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12598: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREL GY
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR’S SELF-HELP FUND SUPPORTS GUYANESE EYE CARE

REFS: A) GEORGETOWN 130, B) GEORGETOWN 643

¶1. (U) On Monday, July 10, Ambassador awarded four grantees through
the Ambassador’s Self Help Program, including a US$6,500 grant to
the “New Light, New Sight” program at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in
Georgetown. Mercy Hospital’s program will provide subsidized eye
surgery to persons living outside Georgetown, primarily in the
hinterland regions. The project will focus on economically
disadvantaged individuals suffering from low vision or blindness due
to cataract or other treatable eye problems, and the surgery will
take place at the hospital with a local opthalmologist at a
discounted price. The hospital aims to treat fifty patients in its
first year, and Post’s contribution will fund basic eye instruments
to supplement the estimated US$91,000 in goods and services that the
hospital has devoted to the program.

¶2. (SBU) In making the award determination, Post noted in particular
the sustainable nature of St. Joseph’s program, which is being
performed on a subsidized cost-reimbursable basis, as well as the
fact that the surgeries will employ local eye doctors. Post notes
that Cuba has received substantial public attention in Guyana for
its “Miracle Mission” eye surgery program (Refs). While Mercy
Hospital’s progra is laudable on its own merits, Post is hopeful
that highlighting the hospital’s efforts through theAmbassador’s
Self-Help Fund will also temper theCubans’ public diplomacy efforts
while at the sae time developing Guyana’s ongoing capacity to
povide quality eye care for its citizens in country.

THOMAS

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