We are pleased to share with you that the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) is organizing its 13th Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week from October 9-15, 2023, in conjunction with World Sight Day 2023 (October 12, 2023).
This year, the Public Education Standing Committee has invited two subspecialty member societies – the Asia-Pacific Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (APSOPRS) with the topic Malignant Eyelid Tumors: The Great Masquerade and the Asia Pacific Ophthalmic Trauma Society (APOTS) with the topic Diabetic Eye Care, to co-organize the 2023 Eye Care Week.
The two societies are producing a comprehensive set of educational materials and a media kit.
Member societies are invited to use the reference materials for public education during the 13th Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week. Where appropriate, member societies are encouraged to translate the educational materials and media kit into the local language for more effective communication.
Please do also share with us the public educational and community service activities you will be organizing in your locality during this period.
- 13th Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week Leaderboard banner (PNG)
- 13th Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week Square pop-up banner (PNG)
- 13th Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week Medium rectangle banner (PNG)
- The 13th Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week banner AI file
- Malignant Eyelid Tumors The Great Masquerade – APSOPRS
- Diabetic Eye Care – APOTS
The 13th Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week: Impact Shines Bright
The 13th Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week, held from October 9 to 15, 2023, in conjunction with World Sight Day on October 12, was concluded with great success. This year, a series of impactful activities were held in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Chinese Taipei, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. Numerous patients benefited from services, including free eye screenings and cataract surgeries, while members of the community from young to old were informed of crucial eye care knowledge in various educational programs. Concurrently, experts, healthcare staff, and students engaged in inspiring exchanges to advance their professional development.
These would not be possible without the collaborative efforts of our co-organizers – the Public Education Standing Committee, the Asia-Pacific Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and the Asia Pacific Ophthalmic Trauma Society. We would also like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our member societies which participated in and supported this event.
Now, let’s delve into the highlights of this year’s meaningful activities!
Eye Care Campaigns in the Asia-Pacific Region
In Afghanistan …
A free eye camp was successfully organized at the Kabul Noor Eye Hospital in one of the city’s districts, with the support of the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH). During this two-day event, approximately 100 patients received eye examinations, and a significant number underwent cataract surgeries performed by a team of four skilled surgeons. Furthermore, World Sight Day was celebrated by the Kabul University Eye Hospital on October 12th, with the active participation of fifty attendees, raising awareness about eye health.
In Bangladesh …
The Ophthalmological Society of Bangladesh (OSB) organized a series of impactful events during the 13th Asia Pacific Eye Care Week in conjunction with World Sight Day (October 12).
- Day 1 – October 09, 2023
A free outreach screening and awareness development program on “Malignant Eyelid Tumors: The Great Masquerade” and “Diabetic Eye Care” was organized by OSB Eye Hospital, 35 km away from Dhaka. Prof. Ava Hossain, Prof. Dipak Kumar Nag, Prof. Md. Abdul Quader, and all the senior and junior consultants actively participated in the screening program. Eye drops and other medicine were provided to patients according to their conditions free of charge.
- Day 2 – October 10, 2023
In the conference hall of the National Institute of Ophthalmology and Hospital (NIO&H), a seminar on “Malignant Eyelid Tumors: The Great Masquerade” was organized. The presence of esteemed experts including Prof. Ava Hossain, Prof. Dipak Kumar Nag, and Prof. Md. Abdul Quader graced this event. The seminar was strategically organized to foster awareness of malignant eyelid tumors among postgraduate students, residents, and junior doctors.
- Day 3 – October 11, 2023
At the Department of Ophthalmology, Bangladesh Institute of Research and Rehabilitation in Diabetes, Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders (BIRDEM), a seminar focusing on “Diabetic Eye Care” delved into various ocular complications associated with diabetes and their effective management. Prof. Ava Hossain, Prof. A.H.M. Enayet Hussain, Prof. Dipak Kumar Nag, Prof. Md. Abdul Quader, and Prof. Purabi Rani Debnath passionately shared their insights into diabetic eye care.
- Day 4 – October 12, 2023
An awareness program on “Diabetic Eye Care” was held at the Sheikh Fazilatunesa Mujib Eye Hospital & Training Institute, situated 162 km away from Dhaka. Participants consisted of community healthcare service providers. Prof. Nahid Ferdousi presented on the complications and management of diabetes, while Prof. Ava Hossain joined this program virtually.
Additionally, the World Sight Day was observed all over the country of Bangladesh, with the slogan “Take care of your eyes at your work place”.
- Day 5 – October 13, 2023
A meeting was held at the Department of Ophthalmology, Shaid Ziaur Rahman Medical College in Bogra. The engaging discussion focused on how to take care of eyes at workplaces, with the active participation of teaching staff, including the Principal of the College and the Director of the Hospital.
- Day 6 – October 14, 2023
An awareness development program was organized for the poor, underprivileged, and low-paid tea garden workers in Sylhet. A rally was organized, featuring the presence of the esteemed Prof. A.H.M. Enayet Hussain, President of OSB.
- Day 7 – October 15, 2023
A meeting focusing on “Diabetic Eye Care” was held at the Department of Ophthalmology, Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU). This gathering brought together postgraduate students, teachers, and consultants, with Prof. Md. Showkat Kabir, Chairman of the Department of Community Ophthalmology at BSMMU, delivering a speech.
In Chinese Taipei …
The Ophthalmological Society of Taiwan (TOS) successfully held the “World Sight Day Eye 2023 – Disease & Treatment History Special Exhibition with Salon Lecture” on October 12, 2023, with the theme “Love Your Eyes”, raising awareness about eye health and providing accurate information about eye diseases. The event was organized in collaboration with Alcon and other eye-care organizations including Taiwan Academy of Ophthalmology (TAO), Taiwan Visual Optics and Refraction Association, Taiwan Retina Society (TRS), Taiwan Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (TSCRS), Loving Blind Association R.O.C, Huikuang Guide Dog School Taiwan, Eden Social Welfare Foundation and Taiwan Association for Relief of Glaucoma and Effective Therapy (Target). The President of TOS, Dr. Chen-Jiann Thorng, appealed for the spread of knowledge to help prevent eye diseases and protect eye health.
The exhibition showcased the history of cataract surgery and intraocular lens development. The salon lecture included insights from Dr. Lu Da-Wen, Dr. Huang De-Kuang, and Dr. Hsiao Yu-Chuan, addressing proper eye care and issues related to aging eyes. In light of the global prevalence of vision impairment and preventable eye diseases, the event emphasized the need for proper eye care from a young age, citing the “1-2-3, Protect your eyes” concept, encouraging regular eye check-ups, limited screen time for children, and outdoor activities. The event also highlighted the significance of cataract surgery in restoring the quality of life and dispelled misconceptions about glaucoma and myopia. Early detection and proper treatment were emphasized to prevent irreversible vision loss.
In Mongolia …
The Mongolian Ophthalmologists’ Society organized a range of activities at various locations including Bayan-Ulgii Province Hospital, Umnugovi Province Hospital, Erdenet Province Hospital, the First, Second, and Third State Hospitals, and Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences. The activities featured free eye screenings, educational workshops, community outreach, and vision screening for school children, raising awareness of eye care. They received media coverage on “Mongolian National Broadcasting” and “Debres Broadcasting” TV channels. Services included:
Free Eye Screenings
- Comprehensive eye screenings for 16,650 participants
- Identified and addressed refractive errors and common eye conditions
- Mobile eye clinic
- Interactive sessions on the importance of regular eye check-ups and preventive eye care for students of Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences
- Engagement with the community through social media campaigns and local outreach programs
- Encouragement to prioritize vision health and seek timely eye care
- “Rabbit with glasses” optometric car service
Vision Screening for School Children
- Visited local schools (45th School and Uudam Mongol School) and conducted vision screenings for students and teachers
- Identified potential vision issues early on and provided recommendations for follow-up care
In Nepal …
The Global Eye Hospital in Itahari, Nepal, held several events during the 13th Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week, under the guidance of Dr. Ben Limbu. On October 11, 2023, a program on malignant eye tumors was held, featuring an interactive session and eyelid screenings for 72 senior citizens. The exercise identified 20 cataract patients and 12 benign eyelid tumors.
In alignment with World Sight Day on October 12, 2023, the hospital conducted lectures on workplace eye injury prevention and distributed free safety glasses to workers in plumbing, building construction, welding, grill industry work, and painting. On October 13, 2023, a diabetic retinopathy awareness program offered free screenings for 26 patients. It found two cases of moderate nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy and one case of mild diabetic retinopathy.
In Pakistan …
The Ophthalmological Society of Pakistan hosted an event themed ‘Love Your Eyes’ at the Peshawar Institute of Community Ophthalmology in celebration of World Sight Day. The event featured awareness campaigns, encompassing a walk, banners, and newsletters, and successfully gathered 85 participants including both the general public and ophthalmologists from across the region.
In the Philippines …
The Department of Health (DOH) in the Philippines distributed an informative infographic to all government hospitals in the country to commemorate World Sight Day on October 12, 2023, themed “Love Your Eyes at Work”. The campaign underscored the importance of eating food rich in Vitamin A like carrots and squash, and decreasing computer screen time which may be stressful to the eyes.
In Sri Lanka …
The College of Ophthalmologists of Sri Lanka organized two health education programs focusing on diabetic eye care. A public awareness program was successfully conducted on October 11, 2023, aiming to reach nearly 100 staff members of the Department of Health Services, Southern Province. Another health education program was held for the health staff at Teaching Hospital Karapitiya, Galle, on October 13, 2023, featuring two lectures by Dr. Lalitha Senarath, Consultant Ophthalmologist and Dr. Yasith Senanayake, Senior Registrar Ophthalmology. The program was well attended by 150 participants and well appreciated. To enhance public outreach and raise awareness, a publication on diabetic retinopathy was featured in the November issue of Suwaya Health Magazine in Sri Lanka.