Skip to 0 minutes and 11 seconds Every year 15 million babies are born preterm and approximately 32,000 of these babies will become blind or visually impaired. Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a retinal disease which affects preterm infants, that is, babies born before 37 weeks of gestation. These babies need very careful management or they are at risk of becoming visually impaired or blind. We’ve known about this for almost 70 years. We can’t prevent preterm births, largely because we don’t understand what causes preterm birth. We know that the rate of preterm birth is rising so almost every country that you look at there’s a steady rise in the rates over the past 20-30 years.
Skip to 0 minutes and 52 seconds The way that we should try and approach this problem is by multidisciplinary professionals working together as a team and those professionals include neonatal doctors, ophthalmologists and particularly neonatal nurses who are key to providing good care. This 4 week course is aimed at neonatal and eye health care teams around the world. We begin at the point of birth of preterm babies and consider how prematurity affects the development of their eyes and what is ROP? Screening and treatment for ROP involves both health providers and parents therefore a team approach is needed to continue to care for the vision needs of preterm babies long after they’re discharged. As more and more preterm babies survive we need to urgently raise awareness on ROP.
Skip to 1 minute and 50 seconds Increase the availability of human resources, especially the skills. Equip neonatal units and provide the essential resources so that ROP gets integrated into the countries health systems and sight threatening ROP is minimized in most of the country Screening babies for ROP is very important. Laser treatment for ROP is effective but only if the disease is detected early enough! Having good protocols, records and communications within the team and with parents is essential for effective treatment. There are many opportunities throughout this course to learn from experts and neonatal health care practitioners, to test your understanding of the key concepts, and to share your reflections with peers, educators and mentors. So join us!