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 select districts of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Telangana in partnership with L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI). It was launched in the presence of the CF Board members and LVPEI teams from Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, Vijayawada and Vishakhapatnam.  This project was designed with the objective to prevent blindness in pre-mature babies from ROP, under its ‘preventing avoidable blindness’ focus in the area of healthcare.

This project is implemented in a total of 19 districts – 8 districts of Andhra Pradesh, 6 districts of Odisha and 5 districts of Telangana. Under this project, pre-mature born babies are screened for ROP before 30 days of birth at the district-level Special Newborn Care Units (SNCUs). Those babies identified with ROP 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 severity of the case.

Awareness about timely screening of pre-mature babies and services available in the districts are highlighted through interactions with media. This project has established a continuity of care for the babies from under-served sections of society. It is a support to the lives of parents and relatives confronted with possible lifetime of blindness in their new-born fragile child and the doctors who have to provide the best care in remote rural areas.