As described above, we became aware that Romania has among the highest rates for Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) and infant blindness. This condition develops after birth for complex reasons, but blindness can be averted if it is recognized early enough.
As of now, there are not enough eye specialists and newborn specialists trained in recognition and treatment of ROP. As a natural outgrowth of our efforts to help Baby Maria, we now have the opportunity to begin an ROP screening network in Romania.
Romanian Doctor Network
Dr Nitulescu, Dr. Trese, Dr. Taranu, Dr. Boboc, and Dr. Capone. Drs. Trese and Capone have been training the Romanian doctors in management of ROP.
By the end of December, in 2017 we will have brought 24 neonatologists and pediatric ophthalmologists to Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI, for training, in groups of 2 or 3 at a time, often with a child who needs specialty eye care. Together the neonatologists learn about which children are at risk and need referral for ROP screening, and the opthalmologists enhance their skills at screening and early treatment.
For the first time, these doctors, coming from all parts of Romania, are maintaining contact with each other and building a referral network for screening and surgery. These are young, intelligent, motivated doctors who are already developing their own plan to improved screening for ROP in premature babies, and for treatment referral in-country when possible.
We have now created a network encompassing 9 cities in Romania for early recognition, diagnosis, and treatment for ROP has already begun to have an impact by increased early detection and referral of premature infants to prevent blindness and by a decrease in the referrals that Dr. Capone needs to see in Rome.
We are delighted to see the positive impacce of the growth of our Doctor-to-Doctor program into a Doctor Network program.
At the US Consulate in Bucharest October 2017: Opthalmologist Dr. Florina Stoica, Consul General Katy Estes, opthalmologist. Ana Maria Alina Stanciu, and neonatologist Dr. Sebastian Raul Olariu.
Romanian cities served by our ROP trained physicians.