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Medical Mission to the Dominican Republic by 63 Doctors and Volunteers of the Cuban Association of the Order of Malta Based in Miami, Florida

Contact: Office of Communications, Cuban Association of the Order of Malta, 786-888-6494, jcalvo1142@ordendemaltacuba.com

MIAMI, March 6, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- During the week of February 27th to March 3rd the first semi-annual medical mission of 2014 to the Hospital Manuel J. Centurion at the ILAC medical Center facility in Santiago de los Caballeros, the Dominican Republic took place under the leadership of Doctors Jose Joaquin Centurion, MD and Jorge Echenique, 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, 63 participants: doctors, nurses, pharmacists and volunteers, flew to the Dominican Republic to give medical assistance to more than 1,300 patients in this poor area of the country. Forty duffel bags of medicines, medical and surgical supplies were flown along with the medical group to the Dominican Republic from Miami, with the collaboration of American Airlines.

Their mission was to give medical assistance with more than 2,200 patient-visits 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 internal medicine, family practice, cardiology, gastroenterology, odontology, otolaryngology, urology, pediatrics, radiology, anesthesiology and surgery.

Over the three day mission, many of the 1,300 local "campesinos" had 2 or 3 doctor's visits each. Also, 53 surgeries were performed by the doctors in the group. An assortment of medicines and other medical supplies were given free of charge to these patients, including a supply for the following six months, all worth about $100,000.

They were locally assisted by the Cooperadores de Salud and other local supporting staff at the clinic. As in the past, we coordinated the visit with the Dominican Republic Association of the Order of Malta, based in Santo Domingo. The next Mission is scheduled for the week of September 18th to 22nd of 2014.

The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, founded in Jerusalem around the year 1050, is a sovereign subject of international law and a Catholic lay religious order. The mission of the Order, summarized in the motto Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum, is to witness the faith and serve the poor and the sick.

The Order of Malta has its own institutions in the five continents for a total of 13,500 members, 80,000 volunteers, supported by more than 25,000 doctors, nurses and auxiliary nurses. The Order of Malta runs hospitals, medical and social centers, nursing homes for the elderly and the disabled, centers for terminally ill patients, volunteers' corps in more than 120 countries.

The Sovereign Order of Malta has bilateral diplomatic relations with more than 100 States and with the European Commission, with which it exchanges ambassadors. The Order is neutral, impartial and non-political and does not pursue any economic or political goal. It does not depend on any other state or government. For more information: www.orderofmalta.int.

The Cuban Association 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, and since 2008 the Casita de Malta food bank for the poor; the Cuban Association also conducts medical missions to the Dominican Republic and to other countries of the Caribbean and Central America.

We have worked closely with the Catholic Church in Cuba since 1996, currently funding fifty eight elderly support centers, living facilities for retired priests, and hospitals and other institutions, including one which serves children suffering from Down's syndrome.

For more information: www.ordendemaltacuba.com
Office of Communications
2950 SW 27th Avenue
Suite 320
Miami, Florida