Dr. V Vasumathy on behalf of the Gurupriya Vision Research Foundation
Prevention of blindness due to Retinopathy of Prematurity in Tamil Nadu, India
Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) is a blinding condition that occurs in 35-47% of preterm babies. India has the highest prevalence of preterm births in the world, with the majority of cases occurring in rural areas. Vision on Wheels is a rural tele-ophthalmology project, aiming to detect and treat ROP among preterm babies in villages in rural Tamil Nadu.
Currently, the machine used to perform emergency laser surgery on babies with ROP is not always available for immediate use, or babies are too sick to be transported to Radhatri Nethralaya for treatment. Hence, a dedicated mobile laser machine in rural areas is essential in order to treat babies that are too sick to travel. This initiative aims to prevent blindness by serving 1,500 babies over a period of 5 years. Furthermore, the project will educate and train local pediatricians about ROP alongside training eye doctors in the correct ROP laser treatment technique.