Community Related Projects

Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) Project

The ROP Program was initiated by VIIO with the goal of providing quality, accessible, and affordable screening and treatment to preterm babies who are at risk of suffering from retinopathy-induced blindness, particularly in underserved communities in rural and semi-urban areas in Karnataka who would otherwise not have access to the screening and treatment facilities. Through the implementation of the program, infants are able to receive routine screenings until they reach 44-46 weeks of age, and are provided with treatment if necessary. The need for uniform and best care practices in the identification and treatment of ROP has also led to the training of technicians as part of the program.

VIIO's ROP Program aims to reach more patients in remote areas that do not have access to screening and treatment facilities. The main objective is to reach patients- preterm infants who do not have access to immediate eyecare, particularly involving screenings and long-term treatment for the disease. Eye care is regionalised to cover areas which have NICUs but no facilities of screening and treatment is available.Keeping in mind the need for a comprehensive approach to tackle ROP, Centres for screening were identified across Karnataka by VIIO in the last decade and a half from 2010. These centres are largely Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) and hospitals both governmental and in the private sector which provided neonatal care to preterm infants. The program covered 6 districts in 2017 and currently, has expanded to 10 districts, covering 24 hospitals/ NICUs in the last three years Some of the districts covered include Adichun-chanagiri, Bangalore, Davengera. Tamaka- Kolar, Tumkur, Hoskote, Mysore and Hassan. A notable increase can be seen in the number of hospitals/NICUs affiliated to the program from 12 hospitals/ NICUs between July 2018 and March 2019, to 17 hospitals between April 2019 and March 2020, to being affiliated with an average of 20 hospitals between April 2020 to March 2021 which indicates a potential increase in the outreach of at risk infants as shown in the diagram next page.