Join our program to contribute to safeguarding the eyesight of premature infants

Welcome to our ROP project, where we’re rallying for your support to make a real difference in the lives of premature babies in less-developed provinces of Vietnam. Your donations will be the lifeline we need to purchase two crucial digital retinal cameras, enabling us to screen premature infants’ eyes and intervene promptly. 

Please, specifyROP CAMERA DONATION to designate your support accordingly.

ROP project 4
ROP project 4

Join our program to contribute to safeguarding the eyesight of premature infants

Welcome to our ROP project, where we’re rallying for your support to make a real difference in the lives of premature babies in less-developed provinces of Vietnam. Your donations will be the lifeline we need to purchase two crucial digital retinal cameras, enabling us to screen premature infants’ eyes and intervene promptly.

What does ROP stand for?

ROP stands for Retinopathy of Prematurity, a significant ocular condition affecting infants born prematurely. In this condition, abnormal blood vessels develop in the retina, the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye. The severity of ROP varies, and while some infants may undergo spontaneous resolution without intervention, others may face the risk of vision impairment or blindness, necessitating timely and appropriate treatment measures. The understanding and management of ROP are crucial in ensuring the optimal visual health of premature babies.

Cute little baby 2
Dr JD medical background mobile 1

Dr. JD Ferwerda - A specialist in treating Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP)

Meet Dr. JD Ferwerda, a distinguished specialist renowned for his expertise in treating Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP). With years of experience and a passion for restoring sight, Dr. Ferwerda has been instrumental in treating numerous infants in Vietnam, bringing hope and vision to those in need.

Dr. JD Ferwerda’s journey began with a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands, where he embarked on a career in ophthalmology. With over 28 years of practice across several European countries, Dr. JD has performed over 10,000 cataracts and 6,000 retina surgeries, always employing the latest techniques and equipment.

What he has been contributing?

In Vietnam, Dr. JD Ferwerda collaborates closely with Nhi Dong 1 Hospital and VinaCapital Foundation on the ROP project, which is aimed at enhancing early screening and treatment using state-of-the-art equipment. Beyond treatment, Dr. Ferwerda is actively involved in training local doctors to ensure sustainable care for infants with ROP across the country.

Our program seeks to acquire two cameras to expand ROP screening to smaller and less developed provinces in Vietnam. These cameras will enable early detection and intervention, safeguarding the vision of premature infants and providing them with a brighter future. For those interested in supporting the ROP project through donations, please visit this website

doctor JD in a conference about ROP

What prompts the initiation of this program?

The survival rate of premature infants is increasing day by day in Vietnam. Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) is a condition characterized by abnormal blood vessel growth in the retina of premature infants, making it a common health concern for preterm babies. It is a significant health issue in developing countries. The prevalence of ROP in premature infants is estimated to be between 26% and 32% (Source: Điều trị bệnh lý võng mạc trẻ sinh non – Bảo vệ thị lực tương lai).

Early screening for ROP is imperative to identify infants at risk of developing severe, vision-threatening stages of the condition. Typically, screening is conducted by a skilled ophthalmologist within the neonatal unit using indirect ophthalmoscopy. Determining whom to screen and the timing of screening hinges on various factors, including the quality of neonatal care provided. In settings where care falls short, larger, more mature infants should also undergo screening, as they too can be susceptible to vision-threatening ROP.

How can we detect ROP early in premature babies for prompt treatment?

Given that ROP manifests after birth, with onset occurring within the initial weeks of life, the initial screening examination should occur no later than 30 days post-birth. Subsequent follow-up screenings may be necessary, potentially even after the infant has been discharged from the neonatal unit. Each country must establish screening criteria tailored to its specific circumstances. Prompt treatment is essential for all infants exhibiting sight-threatening stages of ROP and should be initiated within 48 to 72 hours.

Furthermore, diligent monitoring of all preterm infants is crucial, as they face heightened risks of other conditions that can result in vision loss. Such risks are amplified among infants with a history of ROP, particularly those who have undergone treatment. Refractive errors, including early-onset severe myopia, are the most prevalent conditions. Additionally, conditions such as strabismus and cerebral visual impairment occur at higher rates compared to full-term infants.

By supporting our ROP screening program, you can play a vital role in safeguarding the eyesight of premature infants across Vietnam. Your donation will help us acquire essential equipment and expand our reach to underserved provinces, ensuring timely screening and intervention for those in need.

happy children

What is our plan?

Our immediate goal is to acquire two Forus Health digital retinal cameras:
  • Priced at $30,000 each
  • The number of machines needed: 2 retinal cameras
  • Brand: Forus Health
Forus Health digital retinal cameras
Forus Health digital retinal cameras
Forus Health digital retinal cameras

Why purchase two?

Start with two machines to kickstart our program in underserved provinces. If the demand persists, we are committed to acquiring additional cameras to meet the growing need.

Who will utilize them?

Your donations will not only fund the purchase of these vital machines but will also facilitate the training of dedicated healthcare professionals. We'll empower nurses and optometrists to use the cameras effectively, ensuring a sustainable and impactful program.

Where are they intended for use?

Our team will actively move to smaller and less developed provinces, collaborating directly with local hospitals. Your support will fuel these journeys, bringing vital screenings to areas that need it the most.

How does their usage aid in identifying ROP?

How does their usage aid in identifying ROP?

Why do we collaborate with VinaCapital Foundation?

Vinacapital Foundation and European eye center logo

Collaborating with VinaCapital Foundation is a testament to our commitment to partnering with reputable organizations dedicated to making a difference. With a distinguished status as an American non-profit 501(c)(3) organization licensed as an international NGO in Vietnam, VCF has built a sterling reputation for excellence in implementing impactful initiatives. Their unwavering dedication to improving healthcare, education, and community development resonates deeply, making them a trusted partner in driving positive change. By joining forces with VCF, we leverage their expertise, credibility, and expansive reach to create meaningful and sustainable outcomes for those in need.

Clicking the “Donate” button will redirect you to the donation page of VinaCapital Foundation. Remember, ROP is just one of the projects facilitated by this non-profit organization. Thus, when contributing to the ROP project, kindly ensure clarity in your donation comments or transfer details. Please, specifyROP CAMERA DONATION to designate your support accordingly.

Thank you for your donation.

Patients' stories

ROP Patients' stories 1

This recounts the story of a young girl who underwent treatment for retinopathy of prematurity under the care of Dr. JD Ferwerda nine years ago. Dr. JD conducted surgeries on both of her eyes when she was just a few months old. The procedures were successful, preserving her eyesight and overall health, leading to gradual improvement. Presently, she occasionally returns with her parents for comprehensive eye examinations by Dr. JD.

ROP Patients' stories

The miraculous surgery restored vision for a girl with congenital heart disease and deafness who had detached retinas.

Mrs. Nhan Thi Kim Thuy from Dong Nai, the mother of Thư, shared that when Thư was only 5 days old, doctors discovered that she had congenital hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Moreover, the family later found out that Thư was also hearing impaired. About a month ago, her mother noticed that Thư squinted her eyes and dragged her feet when walking. After a medical examination, doctors diagnosed her with detached retinas in both eyes and cloudy vitreous, warning that if not operated on promptly, it could lead to permanent blindness.

Fortunately, during a visit to the European Eyepean Center, Thư was examined by Dr. Jan Dirk Ferwerda, a leading expert in ophthalmology from the Netherlands. He recommended bringing the patient to FV Hospital, emphasizing that only here did they have the necessary equipment and personnel to perform the surgery for Thư.

To conduct the surgery for Thư, FV Hospital assembled an impressive team. Dr. Ferwerda performed the surgery, while Dr. Ly Quoc Thinh collaborated with Dr. Hà Van Luong from the Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Children’s Hospital 1 in anesthesia. Additionally, Dr. Hồ Minh Tuấn, Head of the Cardiology Department at FV, and Dr. Nguyen Thi Tran Chau, Head of the External Intensive Care Department at Children’s Hospital 1, coordinated with the anesthesiology team to promptly handle any complications during the surgery. 

(Source: Cuộc phẫu thuật kỳ tích cứu lại đôi mắt bị bong võng mạc cho bé gái mắc bệnh tim và câm điếc bẩm sinh )

ROP Patients' stories 3

Treating Retinopathy of Prematurity – Safeguarding the Vision for the Future

The premature infant, Ngô T. B. Ng., was born at 27 weeks of gestation with a weight of 1000 grams. Due to the extreme prematurity and low birth weight, Ng. suffered from severe retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).

The right eye experienced advanced ROP and was untreatable, while the left eye underwent treatment with Avastin injections at Children’s Hospital 1, coupled with ROP surgery performed by Dr. J. D. Ferwerda, a Dutch specialist in ROP. At 16 months old, the left eye has regained some visual function, allowing the child to observe the surroundings, while the right eye has experienced visual loss and retinal shrinkage.

(source: Điều trị bệnh lý võng mạc trẻ sinh non – Bảo vệ thị lực tương lai )