a mom holds her toddler who was born premature in bangladesh

Raisa needed treatment quickly—before she lost her sight forever

Raisa was born prematurely in a rural area of Bangladesh. Because she was born so early, she was at risk of losing her vision permanently to an eye condition called retinopathy of prematurity. But today, she’s a healthy toddler with full sight – because of the treatment she received at our partner hospital in Bangladesh, and friends like you.

Raisa’s parents were hoping for the safe arrival of their baby after losing their first child when Raisa’s mom was 7 months pregnant.

When Raisa arrived at just 34 weeks – two months early – she had to be separated from her parents to stay in a neonatal intensive care unit. There, she was diagnosed with a potentially blinding eye disease called retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).

But although little Raisa was born in a rural area, she was able to quickly receive the sight-saving treatment she needed: shortly after her diagnosis, she received injections in her eyes at Orbis’s partner hospital, the Dr. K. Zaman BNSB Eye Hospital.

Today, she’s a healthy, growing toddler with full sight. She’s growing up knowing what her parents and grandparents look like … and she’ll soon be able to go to school and get an education.

A Global Problem

Millions of babies around the world are born prematurely each year, which makes them at risk of becoming blind from Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP).

Today, ROP is the leading cause of blindness in babies worldwide, and is particularly prevalent in Latin America and South East Asia. Wonderful advances in treatment mean that more premature babies are being saved, but fewer hospitals have the skills and resources to provide the screening and treatment these babies need to grow up with healthy vision.

And it’s urgent that premature babies get treatment quickly: each baby that is born too early must receive screening within weeks of birth … and babies who are identified to need treatment should start treatment within days if possible.

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