A small child walks along a hospital corridor, her mother covering one eye with her hand


In Peru, more than three-quarters of a million people are visually impaired and another 115,000 are blind. There is a critical need for high-quality eye care services to tackle the leading causes of eye disease in the region, including retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in premature babies and diabetic retinopathy (DR).


From 2007-2016, we spearheaded two projects in 36 hospitals across Peru that focused on the dire situation surrounding ROP in premature babies. At the outset of the program, most hospitals had close to zero resources to address ROP, and local staff had very little understanding of the issue.

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In partnership with one of the leading ophthalmology institutes in Peru, Instituto Damos Visión, we’ve trained 636 paediatricians and neo-natologists, 93 residents and interns, 21 biomedical engineers and more than 1,000 registered nurses and technicians in sight-saving oxygen therapy for premature babies.

Fighting avoidable blindness in Peru

An additional 66 ophthalmologists were trained in detection and treatment, and close to 3,651 parents, mainly mothers, were educated on the disease. More than 2,000 babies were examined to detect ROP, with up to 556 treated with laser techniques.

This work included creating an ROP referral network across Peru and a web-based database to allow Instituto Damos Visión to collect evidence on the prevalence and treatment of ROP in the northern and central regions of Peru. This real-time evidence is used to advocate for changes to neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and ROP protocols.

What we're doing next

We are continuing our work with the Instituto Damos Visión to reduce blindness and visual impairment caused by ROP. Similarly, we’re partnering with Peru’s premier ophthalmic training institution, the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology to prevent blindness due to diabetic retinopathy.

With your ongoing support we plan to pilot a global education and technology program to provide real-time surgical mentorship from our team of Volunteer Faculty using Cybersight, our amazing tele-medicine platform. We will also offer live case consultations and support to help improve the the quality of training and the number of skilled ophthalmologists.


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