LVPEI Receives ‘Project of the Year Award’ from PMI South Asia for Rural ROP Care Initiative

Bhubaneswar: L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) has received the Project Management Institute South Asia (PMI South Asia) award in the NGO category for its outstanding project in rural Odisha, aimed at managing Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), a vision-threatening eye condition in preterm babies. The award-winning project, titled ‘Screening and Treatment of ROP in Pre-term Babies in 8 Odisha Districts,’ has been funded by the Cognizant Foundation. It was implemented by LVPEI’s MithuTulsiChanrai campus in Bhubaneswar in collaboration with National Health Mission and Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram. Dr Tapas Ranjan Padhi, the project lead, along with other team members, accepted the award on behalf of LVPEI.

Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) is an emerging 21st-century epidemic and the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in preterm born babies and/ or babies born with a birth weight less than 2.0 kgs, especially babies who were managed in incubators. The efforts by Ministries of Health over the last two decades to reduce neonatal mortality have improved the survival of preterm babies. About 30% of the children in NICUs/SCNUs are expected to be affected by ROP and close to 18% of them can go completely blind if they don’t receive timely retinal treatment within 30 days of birth. Approximately 1000 premature babies are susceptible to go blind every year in Odisha due to ROP.Increased awareness, early detection and appropriate treatmentand follow-up are essential for preventing ROP blindness.

LVPEI campus at Bhubaneswar is the only centre in Odisha offering a protocol-based comprehensiveROP care including neonatal retinal imaging,laser,intravitreal injections,mini neonatal intensive care facility,advanced paediatric retinal microsurgeries,low vision, and amblyopia services under one roof.

The project awarded by PMI was part of the ROP activities by LVPEI in Odisha, covering eight districts: Balasore, Bhadrak, Cuttack, Ganjam, Kendujhar, Rayagada, Sundergarh, and Puri.

“Under this project, our main focus was to screen the tiny and fragile babies born before 34 weeks of gestational age or birth weight less than 2 kg and other at-risk babies as per Govt. of India RBSK guidelines, for ROP within 30 days of birth. We successfully screened 1333 preterm babies, saving 216 of them from blindness. This translates to a saving of 108 crores in terms of lost livelihood and the burden on families. Additionally, we prioritized training nurses, paramedics, and ophthalmologists in ROP care and introduced an innovative real-time tele-screening process for ROP in remote rural locations,” shares Dr Tapas Ranjan Padhi.

“We are immensely grateful to PMI for this honour and to the Cognizant Foundation for their unwavering support. We dedicate this award to all our patients, partners and collaborators who played an integral role in the execution of this project, preventing avoidable blindness in newborn babies,” adds Dr Padhi.

Project Management Institute is one of the world’s largest not-for-profit membership-association for the project management profession. Instituted in 2009, the PMI South Asia awards is the highest recognition for the projects executed in South Asia.

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