ROP-NET Case Study: Korle- Bu Teaching Hospital
Until our team was invited to the maiden planning meeting of the Global Retinopathy of Prematurity Network [ROP Net] in London in September 2017, our quest to initiate an ROP screening and treatment programme in Ghana had been largely a wish with very little on paper and without clear timelines for its execution. We had also thought for a long time that retinopathy of prematurity [ROP] was non- existent in Ghana. In fact, we had assumed that ROP may become a problem in the future as Ghana has recently attained a low middle income status with improvement in care of our infants, with more premature babies surviving and being discharged.
The Global ROP-NET initiative was timely. The collaboration has provided a framework for knowledge and expertise exchange as well as filling the gaps in the specialized training our team of doctors and nurses needed for ROP screening, through the twinning programme established with Aravind Eye Care System in India. This collaboration will ensure sustainable local capacity to deliver optimal health care for premature babies in Ghana and hence prevent avoidable blindness from ROP. We are also benefitting from some equipment supply and development of guidelines for awareness creation and screening on a national scale.
Finally, the collaboration has assisted us to establish the fact that ROP indeed exists in Ghana and the time for a comprehensive and sustainable screening and treatment programme for ROP to be established is now!
We are indeed grateful for this partnership and support.
–ROP Team, Korle- Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), Accra, Ghana