Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is an increasingly important cause of visual impairment and blindness in children in low and middle income countries. A recent estimate suggests that in the year 2010, 32,200 infants developed visual loss from ROP in both eyes, with the highest incidence being in East, Southeast Asia and the Pacific region.
The number of visually impaired and blind children is increasing due to the rapid expansion of services for sick newborn and preterm infants who are now surviving in increasing numbers. Unfortunately in many low and middle income countries services for preterm infants are not uniformly at the level required to prevent sight threatening ROP, and not all infants at risk are screened. This means that infants with the potentially blinding stages of ROP are not all being detected and treated.
Three World ROP Congresses have been held to date, attended by ophthalmologists, neonatologists and nurses who care for sick new born infants. The purpose of the Congresses is to bring together those working to prevent visual loss from ROP in order to share experiences, to discuss research findings and latest developments, and to provide a mechanism for networking and the development of partnerships.
The first Congress was held in Vilnius, Lithuania in September 2006 and had the theme “East Meets West: Can We Prevent Blindness from ROP?” The Congress was initiated and hosted by two Lithuanian ophthalmologists, Rasa Bagdoniene and Rasa Sirtautiene, 260 participants attended from over fifty countries. Read more about the Lithuania ROP Congress
The second Congress was held in New Delhi, India in November 2009. The theme was “No-ROP: Partnership, Prevention and Planning”. The meeting was hosted by Professor R Azad and Dr P Chandra, All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
Read more about the Delhi ROP Congress
The third Congress was held in October in Shanghai, China and was hosted by Xiaoxin Li and Professor Peiquan Zhao.
Read more about the Shanghai ROP Congress.
The 4th World ROP Congress, the 4th International meeting of Retinopathy of Prematurity will be held in Cancun on August, 31st to September, 2nd, 2017.