Hyderabad: Baby Fatima, a three-year-old from Lahore, will be able to enjoy full and healthy eye sight thanks to the efforts of a team of doctors at the Hyderabad based LV Prasad Eye Institute.
Suffering from a rare disease of retinoblastoma, a type of eye cancer, by birth, Fatima was under treatment at the Hyderabad hospital for the past one and a half years and finally doctors declared her free of the problem.
Fatima’s eye cancer was detected three months after her birthth and after the initial treatment at Lahore for one and a half years, her parents brought her to the LVPEI for advanced treatment.
“I am grateful to the doctors of Hindustan for curing my daughter and saving her life and eye sight”, said a beaming mum Namika. Father Farooq Rasheed recalled how the family of three crossed the border at Wagah, took a bus to Amritsar, and a flight to New Delhi and then to Hyderabad to reach the city for the treatment.
“Unfortunately we do not have this facility of treatment in Pakistan,” he said.
Ocular oncologist Dr Swathi Kalaki told the media that after undergoing laser surgery and combination of chemotherapy and radiation the girl was fully recovered and was in a better condition.
With the news of successful treatment of Fatima spreading in Pakistan, five more babies from across the border have come to LVPEI for treatment of the same problem, Dr Swathi said.
“Retinoblastoma affects one in 15,000 to 18,000 children and earlier it is detected more is the chance of survival,” said Dr Swathi.
Every year 8,000 cases of retinoblastoma are detected worldwide, 1,000 of them in India alone. “We treat about 150 to 200 cases every year, about 5 to 10 per cent in late stage,” she added.
The symptoms of the problems include white reflex, squint, redness, swelling of eyes and change of colour of iris.
Another oncologist, Dr Vijayanand Reddy, of the team which treated Fatima, said that 95 per cent of retinoblastoma can be treated if it was detected in the early stage.
Namika praised the Indian doctors for staying in their own country. “Our doctors go abroad to serve,” she said.