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700 Guyanese receive free eyecare, glasses

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As part of its 26th medical mission to Guyana, the Queens-based George Subraj Family Foundation said it provided critical eye care to an unprecedented 700 residents, mostly in the rural areas of the country, building upon its decades-long success in providing medical care to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member-nation.

The mission, carried out last month, included several ophthalmologists, who provided free eye care health screenings and handed out reading and prescription eye glasses to 700 residents.

The foundation, begun by the late George Subraj, a Guyanese native who founded the successful real estate firm Zara Realty Holding Corp. in Jamaica, Queens, has sponsored 61 corneal transplants, 34 kidney transplants and eight major heart surgeries, all free, to residents otherwise unable to afford this type of medical care.

The foundation, now led by Tony Subraj, the son of its founder, partnered with the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) and Suddie Regional Hospital on Guyana’s Essequibo Coast. The mission’s goal was to further expand medical care into the country’s poorer rural regions.

“We want to reach as many people as possible and continue to build on our past success,” said Tony Subraj, who is also vice president at Zara Realty in Jamaica, Queens.

“In addition to treating serious conditions, our doctors are providing critical preventive care, which will result in better outcomes for patients with early stage illnesses,” he added. “We are also helping to train doctors and volunteers in Guyana, so that a healthcare infrastructure can be built that will complement and enhance the vital work the Foundation carries out on these missions.”

The foundation said that residents traveled from throughout the remote Essequibo Coast area to receive screenings, eyecare, much needed medicine eyedrops, and glasses.

The medical team included ophthalmologists Dr. Celeste Haynes-Hinds from GPHC and Dr. IIeana Agramonte from Suddie Hospital, as well as optometrist Jonelle Duke.

The foundation was also instrumental in successfully procuring one cornea tissue, which was used during this latest medical mission in to perform a corneal transplant operation by the GPHC doctors.

A second eye clinic is planned in another rural area, Leguan, with the goal of reaching another 300 residents, the foundation said. This upcoming mission will be led by George’s wife, Gloria Subraj, and her daughter Jasmine Subraj.

The medical missions introduced and funded by the Subraj Foundation beginning in 1992 resulted in the nation of Guyana’s first ever kidney transplant in 2008, the foundation said.

It said the government of Guyana supports the surgical missions via the use of medications, medical staff and the public hospital.

Updated 2:56 pm, December 7, 2017
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