In partnership with the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology the Campaign for Filipino Children intends to enter into partnerships with four pilot hospitals in the Philippines. These may include but not limited to: a central training hospital in the capital of Metropolitan Manila; a hospital in the province of Tarlac and/or Pampanga in the Luzon region; a hospital in the province of Cebu and/or Iloilo in the Visayas region; and one in the province of Davao in Mindanao. Dr. Thomas Lee of the Vision Center of LA Children’s Hospital and his team will travel to the Philippines to train local eye specialists and ophthalmologists and the medical staff from these participating hospitals. The U.S. contingent will bring retcams to assist in diagnosis.
The project can potentially train at least 6 to 10 medical practitioners from each of the 4 hospitals—total of 24 to 40–and prevent blindness for approximately 4,380 premature babies a year. In the future, doctors from these pilot hospitals can train their counterparts in other hospitals especially those in other rural and hard-to-reach provincial hospitals and share the original equipment to sustain diagnosis and treatment on their own.
In addition Apl.de.ap Foundation International will work closely with the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology to lobby the Philippine Department of Health to include screenings for retinopathy of prematurity as one of its government-subsidized procedures. The goal is to create the internal capacity in the Philippines to diagnose retinopathy of prematurity and perform needed surgeries within 48 hours of diagnosis for all children.