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WHO have just released the updated and expanded Guidelines on Maternal and Newborn Care.
The WHO Eye and Vision Care team and a team at ICEH collaborated in a systematic review of published literature and guidelines on newborn eye screening, resulting in the inclusion of newborn eye screening in WHO’s guideline, for the first time.
The recommended methods are an external eye examination with a torch light and red (or fundal) reflex testing with an indirect ophthalmoscope.
Screening should take place shortly after birth, preferably as part of the general newborn assessment, and not later than six weeks after birth. There is evidence that fundal reflex testing can be effectively undertaken by a range of health care professionals, including those who work at the primary level of care.
High quality, reliable and accessible referral mechanisms, and facilities with resources to diagnose and manage children who fail fundal reflex testing (e.g., conditions such as cataract or retinoblastoma), are recommended to be in place.