Preventing a lifetime of blindness

Cognizant Foundation recently launched a project for screening and treatment of ROP (Retinopathy of Prematurity) among pre-mature born babies in four districts of Tamil Nadu in partnership with Aravind Eye Hospital, Chennai. It was launched in the presence of Mr. Keshav Desiraju, member of CF Board, Dr. Namperumalsamy and senior doctors from the Aravind Eye Care System.  This project was designed with the objective to prevent blindness in pre-mature babies from ROP, under the Foundation’s ‘preventing avoidable blindness’ focus in the area of healthcare. ROP among pre-mature born babies can result in a lifetime of blindness. This can be easily prevented if the babies are provided with screening and necessary treatment in time.

This project is implemented in a total of four districts – Chennai, Kanchipuram, Thiruvallur and Vellore districts of Tamil Nadu. Under this project, pre-mature born babies from under-served and rural areas are screened for ROP before 30 days of birth at the district-level Special Newborn Care Units (SNCUs). Those babies requiring ROP intervention are treated with laser, injection or surgery depending on the stage of ROP. The treatment is administered either at the district hospital or at the city neonatal centres, depending on the need.

Continuous medical education programs on ROP and need for timely intervention are held in the SNCUs for creating awareness amongst neonatologist, nursing staff and families of pre-mature born babies.