a mom holds her toddler who was born premature in bangladesh

Baby Raisa Could Have Lost Her Sight Forever

Raisa was born prematurely in a rural area of Bangladesh. Because she was born so early, she was at risk of losing her vision permanently to an eye condition called retinopathy of prematurity. But today, she’s a healthy toddler with perfect vision because of the treatment she received at an Orbis partner hospital.

Raisa’s parents were hoping for the safe arrival of their baby after losing their first child when Raisa’s mom was seven months pregnant.

When Raisa arrived at just 34 weeks old – two months early – she was separated from her parents and placed in a neonatal intensive care unit. There, she was diagnosed with a potentially blinding eye disease called retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).

Although little Raisa was born in a rural area, her parents were able to quickly access the sight-saving diagnosis and treatment their daughter needed at Orbis’s partner hospital, Dr. K. Zaman BNSB Eye Hospital. Thanks to Orbis, and the incredible support of our donors and partners, staff at the hospital had the expertise and equipment to not only diagnose Raisa's condition, but also provide the injection treatment she needed, right then and there.

In far too many cases, premature babies born in rural areas just don't have access to this kind of care – and the consequences can be devastating. But Orbis is working hard to change this.

Today, thanks to the timely treatment she received, Raisa is a healthy, growing toddler with excellent sight. She’ll grow up knowing what her parents and grandparents look like, and soon she’ll be off to school.

This couldn’t have happened without the support of our generous donors who helped fund the training and resources needed to help babies, like Raisa, who are born prematurely.

A Global Problem

ROP is increasing at epidemic levels across developing countries like Bangladesh.

Millions of babies around the world are born prematurely each year and are at increased risk of developing ROP.

Today, ROP is the leading cause of blindness in babies worldwide, and is particularly prevalent in Latin America and South East Asia. Wonderful advances in medical treatment mean that more premature babies are being saved, but few hospitals have the trained medical staff and advanced equipment to provide the screening and treatment these babies need to grow up with healthy vision.

It's also critically important that premature babies are screened and receive treatment for ROP within the first few weeks after birth.

You Can Save a Baby From Blindness

With the right awareness, knowledge and equipment, blindness from ROP is entirely preventable. And that’s where you come in.

As a supporter of Orbis, you can help us provide the training and technology local eye care teams need to ensure no matter where a baby is born, she can get the care she needs. In fact, we’re currently delivering a program in Bangladesh to train pediatric nurses so they have the skills and expertise to effectively support ROP screening and treatment for premature babies, just like Raisa.

With your support, we can continue this critical work and help save more children from a lifetime of blindness caused by ROP.


Help saved more children from a lifetime of blindness caused by ROP.

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