Sources Media Release

Renowned visionary, Dr. Rainald Duerksen,
Cross Canada Speaking Tour for CBMI Canada.

Over 3 million people in South America are blind. Almost half of them could have their sight restored literally overnight, with a 12-minute eye surgery. Unfortunately, there are not enough trained eye doctors to meet the need, particularly among the rural poor.

Renowned ophthalmologist and visionary, Dr. Rainald Duerksen, will be touring April 3-16 across Canada to give a first-hand account of his team's heroic efforts to make eye care and cataract surgery available and affordable for every last man, woman and child in South America. And he'll tell how Canadians can significantly help to make this vision a reality.

Based in Paraguay, Dr. Duerksen has set up a model eye clinic that delivers first-class, self-sustainable eye treatment, to wealthy and poor patients alike. His goal is to train eye doctors from throughout South America - countries like Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador - to make the Paraguayan model work in these countries as well.
During workdays, hundreds of poor patients crowd into a walk-in eye clinic of where Dr. Duerksen practices. This is a rented facility too small for the growing number of patients, let alone for training a growing number of eye doctors.

Dr. Duerksen was elected as the regional chair for the IAPB (Int'l Agency for the Prevention of Blindness) in Beijing and awarded by the IAPB for his achievements in Blindness Prevention in the region.
In 2003 he was awarded with the outstanding achievements in PBL in the Latin America region by the Brazilian Society of Ophthalmology and last year was appointed as the Regional Chair for the IAPB General Assembly in Dubai, for the period of 2004 - 2008, he will be responsible for the implementation of Vision 2020 "The Right to Sight" program in Latin America.

Christian Blind Mission International Canada has been in partnership since 2001. Together, we are committed to building a strategic base eye hospital in Asunción, Paraguay, where Dr. Duerksen and his team will train eye doctors and treat an ever growing number of patients. This facility will set the standard for comprehensive eye care in South America where millions of people are trapped by blindness and poverty.

"I believe this training hospital, and visionaries like Dr. Duerksen are absolutely essential to CBMI's goal of wiping out unnecessary blindness in South America by the year 2020," commented Dave McComiskey, Executive Director of CBMI Canada. "I also believe that we can only rescue and restore more people trapped in blindness by poverty, if more caring Canadians find it in their hearts to help."

"There is honestly not a better gift than giving the gift of sight back to a mom, dad or child. It transforms the whole family's ability to survive and thrive, literally over night," stated Dave McComiskey.

Dr. Duerksen and his wife, Therese, will be presenting their story across Canada, April 3-16.
Check out Speaking Tour locations at

For further information please contact::
Lindsay O'Connor
Media & Public Relations Manager, CBMI Canada
Toll Free: 1-800-567-2264 or (905) 640-6464 x 289

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