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The introduction of ROP laser treatment represents a significant advancement in pediatric eye care in the Maldives. This pioneering procedure offers new hope for premature infants at risk of vision impairment, addressing a critical need in the country’s healthcare landscape.

ROP is a serious eye disorder that affects premature infants, where abnormal blood vessels grow in the retina due to underdevelopment. This condition, prevalent in babies born before 32 weeks of gestation or weighing less than 1500 grams, can lead to scarring and retinal detachment if left untreated.

It’s crucial to note that the consequences of untreated severe ROP can be devastating, potentially resulting in irreversible vision loss that cannot be rectified later with surgeries or glasses. Recognizing this urgent need for specialized care, Eyecare Hospital embarked on offering ROP laser treatment locally.

The first Retinopathy of Prematurity laser treatment at EyeCare Hospital took place on 23rd November 2023, involving a 33-week premature, male infant, exhibiting abnormal blood vessel growth in the retina, a hallmark of ROP. Following the procedure, remarkable improvement was observed in the infant’s condition, with a notable reduction in abnormal blood vessel proliferation.

Led by Dr. Mohamed Azzam, Vitreo-Retinal Specialist and Surgeon, equipped with state-of-the-art technology, EyeCare Hospital ensures precise and compassionate administration of ROP laser treatment. Dr. Azzam emphasized the significance of this milestone, stating, “ROP is a critical condition that requires prompt and specialized treatment. By offering ROP laser treatment locally, we can ensure timely intervention and prevent vision loss for premature infants in the Maldives.”

ROP laser treatment involves the targeted application of laser energy to the retina, aimed at shrinking abnormal blood vessels to halt the progression. This minimally invasive procedure is conducted under topical anesthesia, prioritizing the comfort and safety of the infant throughout the treatment process.

Since the introduction of this laser treatment at EyeCare Hospital, 14 eyes have been screened for ROP with 10 successful procedures completed to date, catering to infants aged between 1 to 2 months old.

EyeCare Hospital goes beyond introducing ROP laser treatment, striving to enhance pediatric eye care. With state-of-the-art technology and specialized skills, the hospital aims to deliver inclusive eye care services, promising a brighter future for all patients.