Comm Eye Health South Asia Vol. 36 No. 121 2023 pp 23. Published online 27 April 2024.

New World Health Organization guidelines

Related content

WHO has published two new documents relevant to child eye care.

• The World Health Organization (WHO) standards for improving the quality of care for small and sick newborns in health facilities has been updated; it now recommends identifying, screening and treating infants at risk of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) as an evidence-based practice to improve the quality of intensive neonatal care. You can use this recommendation to advocate with ministries of health for more services for ROP in your country.

Quality statement 1.33 (new) states: Small and sick newborns at risk of retinopathy of prematurity are appropriately identified, screened and treated.

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• WHO recommends that all newborns have their eyes screened as part of the general newborn assessment, to detect abnormalities such as cataract and retinoblastoma. This recommendation can be used to advocate with ministries of health to ensure eye screening is included in their child health programmes.

Recommendation 26 states: Universal newborn screening for abnormalities of the eye is recommended and should be accompanied by diagnostic and management services for children identified with an abnormality.

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