Support Retinopathy of Prematurity in Vietnam

“Without my eyesight, I cannot see my parents, go to school and play my favorite toy, playdoh” said Thinh.

In Vietnam, Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) is still a disease that is not known enough but is the reason for over 30% of the cause of blindness. See how Orbis-trained eye doctors make a difference.

Looking at the playful 8-year-old boy, hardly anyone can imagine that Thinh was born premature. At 28 weeks old and weighing only 750 grams at birth, he was diagnosed with ROP, putting him a risk of permanent blindness.

His young parents were very worried about his future at that time. Many thoughts flashed through their minds – how their son could learn in school, go about his daily life and what are the options for the visually impaired if he ever losses his sight.

At that time, ROP-diagnosed babies could not receive treatment in the central region of Vietnam. The family had to visit bigger and more medically developed cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city for treatment. The treatment, transportation and accommodation will be a huge financial burden for the whole family.

Light shone at the end of the tunnel when they learn that Thinh could receive ROP treatment at Hue Eye Hospital by Dr. Duong Anh Quan, who was trained under Orbis program.

The operation was successful, making Thing one of the very first babies who were given ROP treatment by Dr. Quan.

Years after the surgery, Thinh is now a happy and mischievous boy in his primary school. He has a visual acuity of 10/10 for his right eye and 8/10 for his left eye.

His eye sparkled and he had an adorable toothless smile when showing off his colorful robot he made from playdoh, his favorite toy.

Every year, Dr Quan and his team screen hundreds of premature infants and treat about 40 infants with ROP (Retinopathy of Prematurity) from Thua Thien Hue and neighbouring provinces in Central Vietnam. Thanks to all our supporters for giving the most precious gifts to children like Thinh. With his good eyesight, we believe he will thrive in his dream job when he grows up – a firefighter!

More About Retinopathy of Prematurity

Babies who have severe ROP are at risk of retinal detachment leading to blindness. Babies with regressed but severe ROP may develop visual problems such as squint, myopia and astigmatism later in childhood. The premature baby's retina and the retinal blood vessels have not completed their growth when the baby is born. When exposed to changes in oxygen level after birth, the retinal blood vessels may be stimulated to grow abnormally. This can lead to bleeding in the retina layer of the eye and retinal detachment if not treated.

Source: National University Hospital

Close the modal
Sorry there was an error.
Try again