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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 303-306

Case series of retinopathy of prematurity blindness in Nigeria: A wakeup call to policy makers, hospitals, ophthalmologists and paediatricians

1 Department of Ophthalmology, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara
2 Guinness Eye Centre, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
3 Department of Ophthalmology, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Ebonyi, Nigeria
4 Department of Ophthalmology, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria
5 Department of Ophthalmology, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria
6 Department of Ophthalmology, University of Port-Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Rivers State, Nigeria
7 Department of Ophthalmology, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Kwara

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Dupe Serifat Ademola-Popoola
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, University of Ilorin, Ilorin
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_595_21

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Background Statement: Inadequate retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) screening coverage portends a high risk for increasing the cases of ROP blindness. This study aims to report the clinical profile of pre-term babies who developed ROP blindness, highlight the usefulness in determining screening criteria and the role of private hospitals in ROP blindness prevention. Case Series Report: Online Google form and telephone survey was conducted from May to December 2020 among paediatric ophthalmologists who provided the clinical details of ROP blind children seen between 2016 and 2020. The main outcome measured included type of the hospital of birth, gestational age, birth weight, ROP Screening and treatment, and blinding ROP Stage among children born premature. The SPSS-IBM version 26 was used for the analysis. Eighteen children blind from ROP with an equal male-to-female ratio were reported. Mean gestational age was 28.4 ± 2.2 weeks (range 26 - 34 weeks, median was 28.0 weeks). Mean birth weight was 1173.7 ± 317.9 grams (range 776 - 2100 grams, median 1125 grams). Six (33.3%) babies were born in private hospitals between 28 and 32 weeks. Sixteen (88.9%) children never had ROP screening. Fifteen (83.3%) were blind in both eyes. Six (33.3%) had Stage IVb and 12 (66.7%) Stage V. Conclusion: About 90% of the babies who became blind did not undergo ROP screening. It is crucial that all babies born at 34 weeks or earlier and have birth weight of < 1500 grams in public/private hospitals be screened for ROP to prevent this avoidable blindness in Nigeria.

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