She’s currently in India as part of her official royal duties and Sophie Wessex continues to give hope to the many children and families she’s met with so far on her trip.
The mother-of-two is in India on behalf of The Queen Diamond Jubilee Trust, which aims to make a significant difference in the lives of people impacted by retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) – a condition affecting eyesight.
The Countess of Wessex had a busy second day as she met with parents and children impacted by ROP at the Kangaroo Mother Care Ward at Niloufer Hospital in Hyderabad. As part of Queen Elizabeth’s Jubilee Trust, Sophie and others help develop programs to detect and treat ROP and prevent young children from needlessly going blind. The 54-year-old is now getting to see the incredible work in action.
Niloufer Hospital cares for 10,000 preterm babies each year and before the Jubilee Trust’s program launched four years ago, there was no screening or treatment services for ROP – which usually develops a few weeks after birth. Thankfully all preterm babies born at the hospital are now screened for ROP as part of their standard are.
Dressed in a dazzling blue blouse, matching trousers and wearing her blonde locks in braids, Sophie happily met with children and families who have benefited from the work of the Jubilee Trust. She met with Rishita, a three-year-old who was born at 28 weeks and weighed just 650 grams. She also met with Rishita’s doctor, who battled to save Rishita’s life and later her sight when she developed ROP.
The Countess meets 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.
HRH was presented with a wonderful gift showing Rishita’s journey. pic.twitter.com/KTTNAwkzeC
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 30, 2019
“I was so thrilled to see the work supported by the Trust in action today screening and saving sight from Retinopathy of prematurity,” Sophie tweeted from the Royal Family Twitter account. “Congratulations to the Indian Ministry of Health, the Public Health Foundation of India and the Trust for creating this remarkable legacy for the people of India.”
As part of her visit, she also had the chance to meet mothers who were caring for their premature babies and in a video shared on Instagram, even got the chance to cuddle with one of the babies.
On day one of her visit, Sophie, who is the vice patron of the trust, got the opportunity to see 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.
Speaking about the progress of the treatment during the trip, Sophie explained how pleased she was 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.”