Each year, thousands of babies are born too soon, i.e. earlier than their due date. These 'premature' babies are at risk of an eye disease called 'Retinopathy of Prematurity' (ROP). ROP can cause permanent blindness. This disease is asymptomatic initially and can only be picked up by specialized screening. Prevention of blindness entails timely screening of these babies by trained experts and urgent treatment when required. Facilities for screening and treatment are few and in the absence of general awareness and access, not all premature babies receive this mandatory screening. In the absence of detection and treatment, thousands of babies go blind every year. Shameful, as this could be prevented by a 5-minute screening and where needed, a half an hour treatment that could mean the difference between normal vision and a lifetime of blindness. Since the family is already under financial strain from the costs of the babies' long stay in a neonatal ICU, many avoid or are unable to pay for ROP treatment.
Pink City Retina Medical Research Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that has started a phase 1 program to enable families from economically weaker sections with premature babies to be able to get access to quality screening for ROP and treatment to prevent blindness. With the help of seed money from its directors and donors, we arrange for free or subsidized ROP screening and treatment for premature babies from economically weak families.
We are now embarking on a project to enhance our work by creating an expanded mobile ROP treatment division with the help of local specialists to extend this facility to a wider population. We are generating funds to equip this division with basic tools and infrastructure to enable ROP detection and treatment that will be offered free of cost to indigent patients.
We request patrons to help us in this work by generously donating to this cause.