Timeline of key events in the project


2012The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust launched
2013National ROP summit organized.
A national summit on retinopathy of prematurity identified major gaps in services and delegates recommended four main strategies to deal with them:
  1. Improve the ability of neonatal care units to reduce the risk of sight-threatening retinopathy of prematurity

  2. Integrate the screening and treatment of retinopathy of prematurity into child health services

  3. Establish a Hub and spoke model (comprising three or four special newborn care units around one medical school) in each state to provide screening and treatment; and

  4. Establish public–private partnerships, where applicable, so that existing expertise in neonatal care and eye care can be used to mentor staff in special newborn care units and eye-care professionals in the public health sector
  • ROP National Task force (NTF) was established in 2014 with members from all possible stakeholders

  • Technical expert groups were set up for various individual fields for supporting the NTF

  • State sensitization meetings were conducted in 10 states, namely: Odisha, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Haryana and Chandigarh

  • Situation analysis was done in 8 states, viz. Odisha, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Haryana and Chandigarh, according to the visits made by the situational analysis team in SNCUs and supporting ophthalmology units (DH) in these states
  • The Ministry of Health, Government of India, formed a national task force, which focused on all aspects of the project and finalized the states for implementation. The national task force, in the course of 5 meetings formed 6 technical expert groups (TEG), to focus on the major program deliverables. The TEG’s met and discussed their respective program deliverables after meeting a certain number of times. The TEG details are:

    • TEG1: Advocacy & Communication - 4 Meetings

    • TEG 2: National Guidelines - 2 Meetings

    • TEG 3: Capacity Building of Ophthalmologists - 4 Meetings

    • TEG 4: Data Management HMIS & IT - 2 Meetings

    • TEG 5: Programme Planning & Implementation - 2 Meetings

    • TEG 6: Capacity Building of Neonatologists/QI - 5 Meetings

    • Launch of ROP screening programme in Telangana state
    • Launch of ROP screening programme in three other states: Maharashtra, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh

    • Capacity building and ROP screening and treatment begins in all the four states
    • Mid-Term Review was conducted by Amaltas and made recommendations to improve the implementation of the project

    • Quality improvement initiative launched by AIIMS, WHO, PHFI and UNICEF

    • QI initiatives rolled out to other project states

    • Set up of Simulation labs for simulation training (Preterm Baby Package) in four mentoring institutes
    • ROP screening and treatment programme running in all the 4 states

    • Scaling up of ROP services begin Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra
    • Scaling up of ROP services proposed to more project and non-project areas with support from the trust and QI teams

    • Gradual Handover of ROP screening and treatment equipment to government health facilities

    • Installation of Neo-cameras in proposed areas to strengthen SNCU staff’s capacity to screen for ROP




    Number of preterm babies screened

    1970 (18.95%)

    Number of preterm babies detected with ROP

    388 (19.69%)

    Number of preterm babies referred for LASER or second opinion

    317 (81.70%)

    Number of preterm babies treated with LASER


    Ophthalmologists trained in ROP screening


    Ophthalmologists trained in ROP laser


    Trained ophthalmologists performing ROP LASER


    Paediatricians trained (including QI)


    SNCU nurses trained (including QI)

    Equipment Provided:

    ROP Laser Console*
    IDO (Indirect Ophthalmoscope)
    Simulation Training Labs

    *(complete console with diode oculight laser system, slit lamp adapter, power cord, eye safety goggles, Iridex slit lamp, eye safety filter for microscope Zeiss type)

    • Successfully completed Preterm baby learning package
    • Inclusive of facilitator and learners guides for all SNCU teams (made available online for free)
    • Training sessions held for SNCU teams from MP, Haryana, Punjab, Delhi and other non-project states apart from project states
    • Prepared learners guide videos with practical demonstration for trainees for neonatal care (Available on YouTube)
    • Training in POCQI (Point of care QI) for constant improvements of SNCU teams
    • Conducted four learning session in MP for QI of Neonatal care services in collaboration with NHM; RBSK and UNICEF
    • Conducted nine learning sessions in MP (5), Odisha (3) and Telangana (1) for QI of Neonatal care services in collaboration with NHM; RBSK and UNICEF
    • Four units of Simulation labs have been set up in the mentoring medical colleges viz. AIIMS, PGIMER, GMCH Chandigarh and Kamla Nehru Medical College, Bhopal for training of SNCU nurses and doctors in quality neonatal care practices (via hands on demonstrations and OSCE examinations)
    • Odisha has trained ophthalmologists and have scaled up ROP services in 4 additional SNCUs with support from LVPEI Bhubaneswar. They are also rolling out QI project across all SNCUs in the state with support from AIIMS Delhi
    • UNICEF – AP & TS has included QI and provision of ROP services in its plan for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh
    • UNICEF MP, Bhopal and Rewa Medical college are supporting scale-up of QI and ROP services in Madhya Pradesh
    • HV Desai Eye hospital is supporting Maharashtra state to scale-up ROP services to 10 SNCUs
    • PVRI is supporting the ESI medical college and hospital Hyderabad for provision of ROP screening and treatment services
    • Tamil Nadu has scaled-up ROP services with support from Arvind Eye Care in 20 SNCUs in the state and plan to expand services to 30 SNCU by end of 2019
    • Kerala has scaled-up ROP services in 10 SNCUs with support from Arvind Eye Care in 10 SNCUs
    • Haryana has scaled up ROP services with support from PGIMER Chandigarh in 5 SNCUs
    • Himachal Pradesh is in process of scaling up ROP services across three SNCUs

    The trust has approved to support the ROP screening programme by provision of wide-angle neo-cameras (NEOCAMs) for screening of babies by the SNCU nurses and doctors. This would relieve some of the workload on the eye care teams. The respective partner states have suggested key areas that would benefit by provision of the cameras for ROP screening to be initiated by the SNCU teams.

    StateCentres suggested for scaling up
    2. Jabalpur DH
    MAHARASHTRA1. Nandurbar DH
    2. Akola DH
    ORISSA1. Rourkela DH
    2. Bolangir DH
    TELANGANA1. Niloufer CH
    2. Nalgonda DH

    AV Materials

    • ROP Policy Brief
      Control of Retinopathy of Prematurity in India
    • ROP4c-1-Radio-Jingle-English
      ROP Radio Jingle - English
      Spreading the Audio Message
    • ROP4c-1-Radio-Jingle-Hindi
      ROP Radio Jingle - Hindi
      Spreading the Audio Message
    • ROP4c-1-Radio-Jingle-Telugu
      ROP Radio Jingle - Telugu
      Spreading the Audio Message

    Press Notes

    Hyderabad, April 11, 2014

    The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in partnership with the Public Health Foundation of India and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine will be organising the National Diabetic Retinopathy Summit, in Hyderabad from 12th-14th April 2014.

    The summit aims to develop an agreed national strategy for the prevention, detection and treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy (DR), a leading cause of avoidable blindness amongst diabetics in India. The Summit will further examine a landmark India centric situational analysis as the starting point for the development of a shared national strategy.

    Download the full Press Release

    Pune, April 26, 2017

    Retinopathy of Prematurity Programme for prevention of blindness in infants

    Dr Deepak Sawant, Minister of State, Public Health and Family Welfare, launched the Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) India project at Aundh District Hospital today. Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is one of the leading causes of blindness in premature infants in India.

    The Public Health Foundation of India in association with The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, UK is spearheading the project to address this growing public health problem across India.

    Download the full Press Release

    Hyderabad, April 29, 2019

    Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex lauds efforts to save premature babies’ sight in Hyderabad

    HRH The Countess of Wessex, in her capacity as Vice-Patron of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust (the Trust), visited Hyderabad’s two large government hospitals, the Gandhi Medical College and Hospital and Niloufer Hospital for Women and Children.

    The Countess was here to see how the support from the Trust is preventing babies born prematurely from losing their sight.

    Download the full Press Release

    Hyderabad, June 11, 2019

    National Pilot Initiatives on Diabetic Retinopathy and Retinopathy of Prematurity Develops Health System Models to Prevent, Screen and Treat Sight of Millions of Indians

    The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, the Public Health Foundation of India and Partners successfully complete a five-year national project to prevent people with diabetes and babies born prematurely from losing their sight.

    The DR and ROP initiatives helped strengthen health systems (particularly in tackling Non-Communicable Diseases) in 14 states, including Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

    Download the full Press Release

    Press Coverage


    Maharashtra Times

    Date: April 27, 2017
    Location: Pune
    Headline: Venture to prevent infant blindness


    Telangana Today

    Date: May 02, 2019
    Location: Hyderabad
    Headline: Countess of Wessex visits Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad


    Times of India

    Date: April 27, 2017
    Location: Pune
    Headline: Screening of premature babies for retinopathy in five districts



    Date: April 24, 2017
    Location: Pune
    Headline: It is possible to prevent blindness in infants



    Date: April 27, 2017
    Location: Pune
    Headline: Infant blindness can be prevented now

    • Patients & Public

      Everything you need to know about Retinopathy of Prematurity
    • Policy Makers

      The dangers posed to preterm infants' eyesight by ROP
    • Professionals

      Technical Guidance, Training Materials, Useful Downloads, Case Studies and more
    • Media Centre

      The Numbers - Facts, Stats, Press Notes, AV Materials and Coverage
    • Trust Programmes

      Why we're working with the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust to help prevent avoidable blindness
    • Partners

      Our nationwide partners, without whom our work would not be possible