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Emilia H. DeMarchis, Tinh Nguyen Xuan, Hieu Nguyen, Douglas R. Fredrick; Prevention of Blinding Retinopathy of Prematurity in Vietnam: A Look at Progress Made and Future Steps. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):1003.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To evaluate an NGO sponsored physician training program for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in Northern Vietnam.
A retrospective, longitudinal cohort study was performed using data collected in Northern Vietnam clinics and the Vietnam National Institute of Ophthalmology (VNIO) in Hanoi from 2002 to 2010.
There were 358 infants referred to the VNIO for ROP treatment, and 1191 infants screened in the Northern Province. 215 infants were included in the VNIO study group and 593 in the Northern Province group. 38% of the infants in the Northern Province group developed ROP, and 0.8% had threshold disease. Patients with ROP had a mean birth weight (BW) of 1654g and gestational age (GA) of 31 weeks, while patients with severe ROP had a mean BW of 1480g and GA of 30 weeks. In the VNIO group treated by laser, 83% had positive structural outcomes. This group had a mean BW of 1355g and a mean GA of 30 weeks.
Infants in Vietnam are being diagnosed with ROP at GAs comparable to other medium development countries, but BWs are higher. Structural success rates for laser treatment are also higher. The NGO sponsored physician training program has enabled wide based ROP screening and structurally successful treatment at impressive rates, demonstrating that training programs are a positive and practical way to combat ROP in developing nations.
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