Medical Mission to the Dominican Republic by Doctors of Cuban Association Order of Malta- Miami
MIAMI, June 12 /Christian Newswire/ — Medical Mission to the Dominican Republic Organized by Doctors and volunteers of the Cuban Association of the Order of Malta.
Miami, Florida, June 2009. During the weekend of May 28th to June 1st the semiannual medical mission of 2009 to the Hospital Manuel J. Centurion at ILAC Center, Licey al Medio medical facility in the Dominican Republic was undertaken, under the leadership of Doctors Jorge Echenique, MD and José Joaquín Centurión, MD both Knights of Malta and members of the Cuban Association, residing and practicing in South Florida.
As it has been the case for the past several years, 33 participants: twelve doctors, eight nurses, five pharmacists and eight volunteers, plus a Dental Team and their medical supplies, flew with the collaboration of American Airlines to the Dominican Republic from Miami, Florida. Their mission was to give medical assistance to more than 1,000 patients in this poor area, just a few miles outside Santiago de los Caballeros, the second largest city in the country.
The doctors included specialists in cardiology, pediatric medicine, gynecology, urology, gastroenterology, otolaryngology, infectious diseases and internal medicine. They were locally assisted by the Cooperadores de Salud, a group of health workers who did the screening of the patients prior to the visit, and by a local radiologist and other supporting staff at the clinic. Over the four day mission, the doctors saw over 1,000 individual patients resulting in over 2,500 patient visits. The mission distributed free of charge medicines and other medical supplies valued at over $100,000, including a supply for the following six months.
ILAC is a Catholic faith-based group that has a free- standing clinic near Santiago with three operating rooms and five exam rooms. ILAC has a system of health-care workers, called cooperadores, who live in remote villages and perform health screenings. The cooperadores bring surgical candidates to the clinic. It is a collaborative health care and educational organization that exists to promote the integral well- being and spiritual growth of all participants. The small hospital at this facility was made possible with a donation from a local businessman through one of the MD members of the Cuban Association.
The Order of Malta is the third oldest religious order of the Catholic Church, having been established in 1048. Since its humble beginnings in the Holy Land, this Order and its members have dedicated themselves to serving the poor and the sick, particularly in the area of health care. This tradition of service is maintained today by the approximately 12,500 members and over 100,000 volunteers working in over 50 countries. It operates ambulance corps, blood banks, clinics, hospitals, refugee camps, and disaster relief operations. You can learn more about the Order at www.orderofmalta.org.
The Cuban Association of the Order of Malta was established in 1952. It was reorganized in Miami, Florida in 1990, where new activities were established for the poor and the elderly in cooperation with the local Catholic Church.
Presently it has 113 Knights, Dames and Chaplains, including three living in Cuba. Our volunteer doctors have served the San Juan Bosco parish clinic-Our Lady of Philermo- for many years; the Cuban Association also conducts medical missions to the Dominican Republic and to other countries of the Caribbean and Central America. We have been working closely with the Catholic Church in Cuba since 1996, currently funding forty elderly support centers associated with a similar number of catholic parishes throughout the Island; living facilities for retired priests, hospitals and other institutions, including one which serves children suffering from Down’s syndrome. We also cooperate with the Embassy of the Order of Malta in Havana with many of our local projects. You can learn more about the Cuban Association at www.ordendemaltacuba.com.
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