Premature babies with weak retina may lead to blindness: Experts

RAWALPINDI (INP): Retinopathy of Prematurely (ROP) is a disease affecting premature and under weight babies born before the date of delivery and are placed in incubator for supplemental oxygen.


This was stated by the speakers in a seminar on Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) held at Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital. Professor Dr. Wajid Ali Khan, Dean and Chief Consultant delivered the welcome address. Dr. Sorath Noorani Siddiqui, Head of Pediatric Ophthalmology Department, Al Shifa Eye Hospital presented an overview of ROP. Addressing on the occasion speakers said that premature and under weight babies have weak retinas that may lead to blindness if not treated timely. Showing these children to Ophthalmologists may avoid lifelong blindness and disability.


Guest speaker Dr. Umer Khan Mian, MD, Montefoire Medical Centre, Bronx, NY, USA captivated the audience by highlighting the concept of Pakistan Retinopathy of Prematurity Educational and Research Alliance (PROPERA) for the very first time in Islamabad. Later screening data of ROP from PIMS was presented by Dr. Sorath N Siddiqui.


Dr. Shireen Gul, a pediatrician from PIMS discussed protocol for oxygen therapy at PIMS. The screening data of ROP from Military Hospital (MH), Combined Military Hospital (CMH) & Fauji Foundation Hospital Rawalpindi was presented by Dr. Saemah Nuzhat Zaffar of Al Shifa Eye Hospital. Finally Dr Shahid Nazir, a Neonatologist from Shifa International Hospital talked about management protocol for peemises at Shifa International Hospital Islamabad.on this occasion      Professor Ali Raza- Head of Ophthalmology Department, Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH),Professor Rai Asghar Head of Pediatrics (BBH),Professor Samiya Naeem- Head of Department (HOD) Paeds, Islamic International Medical College (IIMC),Professor B A Naeem- HOD Ophthalmology, Fauji Foundation Hospital.Dr Rubina Gillani, Country Manager Pakistan- Fred Hollows Foundation,Professor General(r) Akbar- Ophthalmologist and Dr. Tariq Saeed- Holy Family Hospital Rawalpindi were present and Doctors of Al- Shifa Eye Hospital Sukkur, Kohat and Muzaffarabad and Department of Ophthalmology, Services Institute of Medical Sciences SIMS, Lahore also participated through video link.

The house was then opened for discussion. Renowned neonatologists and ophthalmologists shared their views to formulate ROP screening guidelines for Pakistan and start ROP screening services at Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU), eye clinics at various hospitals.The meeting concluded with the achievement of its basic aim and by setting up a coordination team of Ophthalmologists and Neonatologists from each hospital that participated in this meeting who will meet on 1st Saturday of every month from12:00-1:00pm at Pakistan Institute of Ophthalmology, All Shifa Trust Eye Hospital Rawalpindi.At the end of the session a shield was presented to the guest speaker Dr. Umar Khan Mian MD, Montefoire Medical Centre, Bronx, NY, USA and certificates were distributed to the participants.

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