Sophie Wessex made a bold statement in pink during a visit to hospitals across India this week to meet premature babies and address the growing issue of blindness.
The Countess of Wessex looked stunning during the trip in a gorgeous pink blouse and orange and pink patterned pants as she met with hardworking medical professionals in the city of Hyderabad. Sophie opted for a pair of orange shoes for the occasion, while she kept her blonde locks off her face in a low bun.
The mother-of-two travelled to the country for an update on The Queen Diamond Jubilee Trust, which has made a significant difference to the prevalence of Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) – a condition affecting eyesight.
During the visit Sophie, who is the vice patron of the trust, witnessed a newborn baby undergoing ROP screening which is now offered routinely throughout the city. The screening usually takes place during the first 30 days of the baby’s life with further tests undertaken every one to two weeks until the risk of the condition has passed or the baby has received treatment.
Before the creation of the trust in 2014, there was no program in place to prevent premature babies from going blind from ROP. However, nowadays treatment is available thanks to the Indian Ministry of Health and the trust’s partners.
“Through these new services, almost 10,000 babies have been screened for ROP and been referred to treatment if required,” the royal family explained on a post on Instagram.
“Furthermore, so far specialist training has been provided to health workers in 71 neonatal units to improve care and prevent risk of ROP.”
The Countess of Wessex has visited hospitals across Hyderabad today to see how The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, of which she is Vice-Patron, has made a significant impact on programmes to end avoidable blindness in babies, specifically Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). The Countess witnessed a newborn baby undergoing ROP screening which is now offered routinely. The first screening examination should take place by 30 days after birth when many babies are still in neonatal intensive care. Screening then continues every one – two weeks until the risk of ROP has passed or the baby receives urgent treatment. Before the @qejubileetrust’s work began in India in 2014, there was no national programme in place to prevent premature babies from going blind from ROP. Now, thanks to the commitment of the Indian Ministry of Health and the trust’s partners, national guidelines have been integrated across India’s health system to ensure babies have their eyes screened and they have access to sight-saving treatment. Through these new services, almost 10,000 babies have been screened for ROP and been referred to treatment if required. Furthermore, so far specialist training has been provided to health workers in 71 neonatal units to improve care and prevent risk of ROP. Swipe ⬅️ to see more photographs from today’s visits and hear The Countess thank the healthcare professionals who are working tirelessly on the ground to #endavoidableblindness.
Speaking about the progress of the treatment during the trip, Sophie explained how pleased she is to see the difference the program is making to thousands of children.
In a video shared on the royal family’s Instagram, the countess explained to hospital staff her hopes for the future.
“The trust has always wanted to have something that will have legacy on into the future and you’re creating that yourselves,” she told the team.
“This is going to have a huge impact on millions of children well into the future. So thank you for what you’re doing and thank you for your energy because it takes a lot of energy to get these things going but it’s a fantastic example of what can be achieved.”
The royal family also shared snaps from the day of the duchess interacting with babies in the care of the hospital. While the L V Prasad Eye Institute uploaded images of the 54-year-old meeting with paediatric staff and members of the ROP team who deliver the treatment and tests.