A Cuban-Venezuelan eye surgery program has aided more than 25,650 people in Paraguay, medical workers said Thursday.
The program, Mision Milagro (Miracle Mission) provides free care for patients living in poverty and suffering treatable blindness and other vision problems. According to figures from the program, its doctors in Paraguay have helped more than 5,000 patients since the start of the year. Around 1,600 of those patients were treated for cataracts, according to data quoted by Prensa Latina. This years numbers bring the total number of Paraguayan patients to receive surgery from the mission to over 25,650 over the past eight years.
Earlier this year, Venezuelan officials announced Mision Milagro had helped 4 million people worldwide since it was founded a decade ago. The initiative was started by the former socialist presidents of Venezuela and Cuba, Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro in 2004.
According to officials, Mision Milagro is well on track to meet the former leaders' goal of helping 6 million people.
The 4 million who have so far benefited from treatments have mostly been from Latin America, but the project has also helped people in Africa and the Caribbean.
Earlier this year, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro praised the mission for its achievements worldwide.
“This is such a powerful mission, which has become so widespread across the continent and beyond, including in Africa, that the goal set by Fidel and Chavez of 6 million patients is a goal that we are close to meeting,” he said.