Second World Congress of Optometry will focus on 'Accessible, quality vision and eye health'
The World Congress will be held from Sep 11-13 this year at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre, and will see experts address issues of blindness, refractive error, and vision care as an integral component of public health.
This year’s theme ties into the WHO ‘Universal Eye Health: A global action plan 2014 - 2019’, part of a target to reduce the prevalence of avoidable visual impairment by 25% by 2019.
One of the ways to accomplish this is to have in place a strong and equitable eye health system within which optometry plays a valuable and essential role, said the organisers. Preventable blindness and eye care delivery as a public health issue is of paramount importance for tackling the problem.
The Congress will be hosted by the World Council of Optometry, Asia Pacific Council of Optometry and the India Vision Institute (IVI).
Professor Kovin Naidoo, CEO, Brien Holden Vision Institute, is the conferene chair. He is associated with several universities, including in Australia and the US.
Professor Naidoo said, "This conference brings together world leading experts in Public Health and clinical care. The program is aimed at addressing the twin challenges of quality care and access."
"We are really glad to host this in India as India has made tremendous strides in terms of creating access through civil society organisations and the government. Concurrently, Optometry is growing at a rapid pace in India and the challenge of quality of care is brought into increased focus," Professor Naidoo added.
IVI CEO Vinod Daniel said, "With 100 million Indians suffering from blindness-related ailments, including uncorrected refractive error - and around 10 million children with the problem, the Congres could not have come to the country at a better time. It will not only highlight and raise awareness of issues, but will also further the important strides made by India to improve both access to vision care and reduce avoidable blindness."
"The Congress will deliberate key issues of preventable blindness, skill development and training optometrists and vision care delivery as an integral element of public health," he said.
The first World Congress was held in Medellin (Colombia) in 2015.