Hyderabad: The Countess of Wessex, Sophie Helen, the member of the British royal family, visited State-run Gandhi Hospital on Monday. The Countess, who is on a visit to India to see the functioning of programmes supported by Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, visited the paediatric ICU ward of the hospital.

The Countess, who is also the Vice-Patron of the Diamond Jubilee Trust, interacted with hospital authorities and later observed preterm babies in the recently upgraded paediatric ICU at Gandhi Hospital. At the hospital, the Countess also watched the special Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) screening programme take-up on infants at the paediatric ICU wards.

Countess-of-Wessex-2Along with many stakeholders, including Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW), the Diamond Jubilee Trust is involved in tackling ROP, a potentially avoidable blindness in preterm babies in India. The Diamond Jubilee Trust is working across the Commonwealth to end avoidable blindness and empower young leaders. According to the Trust, national guidelines to prevent ROP have been integrated across India’s health system to detect and treat the medical condition. Following the visit of The Countess of Wessex, the official Twitter feed of The Royal Family tweeted “The oxygen given to babies in the incubator to survive can damage their immature retinal blood vessels. Without detection and treatment it can cause irreversible blindness”.

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