Heroes of Orbis: Dr. Fiorella Flores

When babies are born prematurely, it’s up to doctors like Orbis-trained Dr. Fiorella Flores to ensure they have a healthy future. Without eye health heroes like her, many more babies would be at risk of being permanently blind. But thanks to Dr. Flores and her incredible team, vulnerable infants can live long lives with healthy vision.

Dr. Fiorella Flores is the head of the pediatrics department at our partner Trujillo Regional Hospital in Peru. With a specialization in neonatology, part of her role is to spot the signs of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), the leading cause of childhood blindness globally.

Retinopathy of prematurity is a potentially blinding disease that affects premature babies, and without care can lead to permanent blindness. In Peru, 7.3% of babies are born prematurely every year — this means over 30,000 babies are at risk of ROP annually! But thanks to the dedicated work of medical professionals like Dr. Flores, these infants can live a healthy, fulfilling life.

Dr. Flores says her Orbis training has been an enormous help in saving sight. Her department is now well-trained and resourced with state-of-the-art equipment to deliver the best care, all thanks to Orbis supporters.

To ensure more babies leave hospital in good health she says, “it is quite important to have not only the human resources but also the infrastructure.”

This is why Orbis not only focuses on training and equipment but on strengthening the whole eye care system and influencing national policies to prioritize eye care. Our goal is to build strong eye care systems that leave a lasting legacy.

Women Eye Health Leaders

Dr. Flores first came into contact with Orbis during her years as a pediatric resident. While caring for premature babies, she met Dr. Luz Gordillo, the leading pediatric ophthalmologist and specialist in ROP in Peru, and dedicated Orbis partner.

When Dr. Gordillo came by weekly to evaluate the babies for further eye examinations, she taught Dr. Flores how to spot the signs of ROP, tips she would bring with her to her current role. “A whole refresher course was created,” she says, so everyone could learn the proper way to monitor oxygen levels, a crucial step in preventing ROP.

With brilliant and dedicated women like Dr. Flores and Dr. Luz Gordillo leading and training the next generation of doctors, we can feel confident that premature babies in Peru will receive top-notch care.

Dr. Fiorella Flores.

As a pub­lic insti­tu­tion, we have very lim­it­ed resources. And thanks to the inter­ven­tion of NGOs like Orbis, we have obtained the tech­nol­o­gy need­ed for the dai­ly care of children.”

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