On the second day of her visit to India (30th April), The Countess of Wessex as Vice-Patron of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, in the morning visited the Niloufer Hospital which cares for over 10,000 preterm babies each year.
This institution was founded in 1949 by the Princess Niloufer. Princess Niloufer was the daughter of king of Ottoman Empire and was married to prince Moazzam Jah- son of the last Asaf Jahi ruler in 1931.
Just like Florence nightingale, the princess had a liking to serve the poor and also took to serving the poor as a nurse. In 1949, one of the princess’ maids died during childbirth due to lack of medical facilities.
On hearing this news, the princess was very shattered. She then decided to ensure that no mother faces death hereafter. Princess Niloufer made known to her father-in-law the problems arising due to this lack of medical facilities.
Established in 1953 as a 100 bedded hospital, presently it has bed strength of 500 with advanced maternity, pediatric, pediatric surgery supported by excellent diagnostic facilities.
After Andrew Fleming (@Andrew007Uk) via Twitter:
With about 300 births a day (they claim the highest) the staff take ROP seriously & ensuring eye screening happens where and when needed.
Before the Trust’s programme launched in 2015, there were no screening & treatment services for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) at Niloufer Hospital. Today, all preterm babies born at the hospital are screened for ROP as part of their standard care.
During her visit, The Countess of Wessex met mothers and their babies in the Kangaroo Care Ward. HRH learnt more of the care given to premature babies and how and when they are screened and treated for retinopathy of prematurity.
Sophie also met parents and children affected by ROP at a support group, including 3 year old Rishita, who was born at just 28 weeks weighing 650g, along with Dr Yadaiah who battled to save Rishita’s life and later her sight when she developed ROP.
During her visit to the hospital, The Countess saw the impact of programmes supported by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, which includes training modules and education to improve quality of preterm care in neonatal intensive care units and ongoing support groups for parents who have a child affected by Retinopathy of prematurity, a condition exclusive to premature babies which can lead to irreversible blindness without treatment.
The Countess of Wessex donated two Forus NEOs to Niloufer Hospital and Ghandia Hospital. The donation came on behalf of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, with eight more NEOs set to be donated to other government hospitals across the country.
Speaking about the Trust’s work in India, the Countess said:
We have come a long way from identifying Retinopathy of Prematurity (RoP) as our area of focus to seeing the region-wide change that the Trust has been able to bring about with different stakeholders. The technology is available and the capability of people is clearly visible. What is needed now to treat avoidable blindness in pre-term babies is to upscale work already being done by eye care specialists.
In the afternoon, Her Royal Highness attended a Meeting with Sri Shailendra Kumar Joshi (Chief Secretary to the Government of Telangana) at Telangana Secretariat, Hyderabad. I cannot find anything about this meeting.
In the evening, The Countess of Wessex attended a Welcome Dinner at the Chambers of Taj Palace Hotel in Mumbai. Dinner was hosted by Crispin Simon – British Deputy High Commissioner in Mumbai/Western India.
PS Tomorrow I’m travelling to have a few days off, not sure if I will be posting during my time abroad. If not, I will update the rest of the tour after coming back home.
Outfit & jewellery:
If someone is bored, please do the list for me!