USAID’s Child Blindness Program Supports ROP Program at SCEH, India

USAID’s Child Blindness Program (CBP) has been supporting Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital (SCEH) in New Delhi, India, for projects on Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) and Retinoblastoma, which have been running successfully.

During the Retinoblastoma Awareness Week (14th - 20th May 2023), the CBP team visited SCEH.


The delegates of USAID’s CBP, including Mr. Christopher Pearson (CBP Chief of Party and Director Global Programming for Integrative Sciences LLC), Ms. Nehad Fattah (CBP MEL Specialist), Ms. Maria Vance (CBP Finance Specialist) and two IEF Senior Technical Advisors - Mr. Raheem Rahmathullah and Ms. Victoria M. Sheffield visited SCEH in May 2023.

The team also visited SCEH’s vision centers (VC) and door-to-door screening program for children and interacted with the VC staff. The team visited two Delhi government hospitals which have ongoing SCEH Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) programs. During SCEH’s annual retinoblastoma event, young children who had lost one or both eyes to save their lives, or had their eyes saved through the new technologies supported by CBP, and their families over the past few years, came together for the special event of arts, crafts and storytelling. The CBP team was inspired by the talents evidenced by the singing, dancing, and storytelling by the children, and the confidence being instilled in the children and their families to know that their futures are bright even after sustaining such intense treatment.

USAID’s CBP team Joins Retinoblastoma Awareness Week at SCEH

Retinoblastoma is an eye cancer and during the Retinoblastoma Awareness Week (14th - 20th May 2023), SCEH’s network organized several activities and undertook new initiatives to raise awareness about the disease in communities and amongst patients visiting the base hospital and the satellite centers.

The theme for the RB day event was “Canvas of Hope” where our little warriors painted their dreams on the canvas with the brush of hope and colors of faith.

The USAID Childhood Blindness Program

USAID’s generous funding opportunity came at the right moment, and the journey of the “Comprehensive Child Eye Health Program in Urban slums of Delhi during COVID-19 times” began.

“Comprehensive Child Eye Health Program in Urban slums of Delhi during COVID times”

Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital (SCEH) concluded the pediatric eye screening and comprehensive eye health service program in May 2023. This program was specifically designed to cater services to children during the COVID pandemic when all the outreach activities, including school eye screening programs across India, were suspended. After waiting for a year for the COVID situation to change and not getting any respite, the SCEH’s pediatric ophthalmology department pivoted to a door-to-door screening strategy, thereby taking the services directly to the childrens’ homes. USAID’s generous funding opportunity came at the right moment, and the journey of the “Comprehensive Child Eye Health Program in Urban slums of Delhi during COVID times” began.

In the past 15 months, seven teams of vision screeners and counselors screened 112,667 children in the Bhajanpura region of New Delhi. Among those screened 7,599 children were identified with eye ailments and referred for additional services, 3,964 children received eyeglasses, and 281 surgical procedures were performed. This project also went a step forward and provided services to 239 children with low vision, dispensing 100 low-vision aids at no cost.

This project has significantly impacted many Childrens’ lives by identifying and treating this potentially fatal condition at an early stage. This initiative has played a crucial role in ensuring the healthy development of children's vision by providing access to eye screenings and necessary interventions.
The project also helped raise awareness about the importance of regular child eye screenings among parents, community health workers, Allied Ophthalmic Personnel, and the broader community.

Text and photo courtesy Dr Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital.

We thank SCEH for consenting to use content from their newsletter. The text has been edited slightly to suit a global audience.