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Trevor Lloyd, Scott R Lambert, Sherwin Isenberg, Rebekka Matheson; Current Management of Retinopathy of Prematurity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):2172.
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To survey current oxygen management, screening criteria and equipment, treatment criteria, and treatment methods for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
A survey to gather information about the prevalence and current management of ROP in SSA was sent to 76 ophthalmologists and 97 neonatologists practicing in SSA. The survey included questions regarding the number of patients per week, screening criteria for ROP, the number of patients requiring screening per week, methods for screening, whether or not they participate in tele-medicine, criteria for ROP treatment, treatment methods, the number of infants treated for ROP each month, current oxygen management equipment, and other obstacles to care.In September of 2018, the International Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus Council held a symposium in South Africa to develop models that would enhance research and clinical care for ROP in SSA. The survey was initially sent to ophthalmologists and neonatologists who attended the symposium and practice in SSA. Surveys were then sent to personal contacts of the authors that practice ophthalmology or neonatology in SSA, secondary referrals from those contacts, and to referrals from medical school deans in SSA that had publicly accessible websites. There was no preference for any region in SSA and no differentiation by type of center.
Ophthalmologists and neonatologists from 15/49 (31%) countries in SSA responded to the survey. Most ophthalmologists (27/30 (90%)) screen for ROP, and of those, 26/27 (96%) employ screening guidelines. Ophthalmologists reported screening a median of 5 infants per week, treating a median of 2 infants each month, and had a median of 2 infants suffer severe vision loss due to ROP in the past year. Most (19/27 (70%)) base their treatment criteria on whether or not the infant has Type 1 ROP. The majority of ophthalmologists (20/27 (74%)) have access to anti-vascular endothelial growth factor drugs, while only 10/27 (37%) have access to a laser for treatment.Neonatologists reported medians of 31 incubators per unit, 30 infants treated per week, 15 infants on supplemental oxygen per week, 0 oxygen blenders, and 3.5 oxygen measuring devices.
There is an urgent need for hospitals to have adequate oxygen management equipment and ophthalmologists to have training and equipment to screen and treat ROP in SSA.
This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.
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