Retinopathy of Prematurity Project of AYALA Charity Foundation will help reduce visual impairment in newborns in Karaganda oblast. A retinal camera was installed in the Perinatal Centre No. 1 of the Oblast Clinical Hospital. It has already helped diagnose more than 20 high-risk newborns.
Perinatal Centre No. 1 has a full set of equipment now that helps doctors in early diagnosis and timely treatment of dangerous eye diseases in newborns, including retinopathy of prematurity that can lead to complete loss of vision and disability in children.
“Our Centre obviously needed a retinal camera for early screening of retinopathy and other eye pathologies in newborns, especially for laser surgery. Pictures of the eyes of newborns are displayed on the monitor screen; they are colour, clear, changes in the retina of the child’s eyes are clearly visible. I can precisely identify the affected areas and work with them carefully. If I need to get advice from colleagues in other cities, I can send them the pictures I receive. Before the retinal camera was obtained, I only had a head-mounted ophthalmoscope for diagnosis. It is much easier and more accurate to diagnose newborns now,” noted Gulimay Yertaevna Baimukhanova, ophthalmologist of Perinatal Centre No. 1
More than 23,000 children are born annually in Karaganda oblast; over 1,300 children are born prematurely and are at risk. In 40% of cases, such children are diagnosed with retinopathy, a serious disease that leads to complete loss of vision. The first screening for retinopathy shall be carried out by an ophthalmologist at the Perinatal Centre 21 days from birth date. If retinopathy is detected, then laser coagulation of the retina shall be performed almost immediately, within 24-72 hours.