The Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology is launching the Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week, an initiative to raise public awareness about eye care and eye health in the region, in the first week of January 2012 (i.e. January 2 – 8, 2012). To that end, member societies are invited to organize various activities, which may include:
- Organize a screening event in your local institute / hospital
- Give lectures to patient support groups / the general public
- Participate in radio and TV shows to talk about any eye diseases and to answer questions
- Contact newspapers to publish information about eye care, eye health and/or any eye diseases
What’s going on in the Asia-Pacific region?
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With the generous support of the Asia-Pacific Glaucoma Society, the Asia-Pacific Society of Eye Genetics, the Asia-Pacific Society of ocular oncology and pathology, the Asia-Pacific Strabismus and Paediatric Ophthalmology Society, as well as the Asia-Pacific Vitreal-retina Society, the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology organized its first Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week from January 2 – 8, 2012. Five live radio shows on common eye diseases were broadcast on five Mondays running from December 2011 to January 2012. Details of the talk are listed as follows:
- Age-related macular degeneration and common retinal diseases – by Dr David Liu (APVRS)
- Squint, amblyopia, and common eye diseases in children – by Dr Flora Lau (APSPOS)
- Glaucoma – who is at risk? – by Prof Clement Tham (APGS)
- Myopia and other common inheritable diseases of the eye – by Prof Calvin Pang (APSEG)
- Elimination of preventable blindness in Hong Kong, China & China – by Prof Dennis Lam (APAO)
Participating member societies includes the Cambodian Ophthalmological Society, the Ophthalmological Society of Chinese Taipei, the Indonesian Ophthalmologists Association, the Japanese Ophthalmological Society, the Korean Ophthalmological Society and the Nepal Ophthalmic Society.
On the APAO Eye Screening Day held on January 8th, 2012 in Hong Kong, 230 patients with myopia had turned up to have their eyes examined. Examinations to be conducted include:
- Best corrected visual acuity
- Non-contact tonometry
- Slit lamp examination and dilated fundoscopy
It turned out that a total of 64 individuals needed referral, two of which even needed urgent ophthalmological attention as they had previously unknown retinal tears with risk of retinal detachment. Seventy percent (N = 161) of the participants aged 50 or above and 24 of them had retinal or macular problems, while 18 were glaucoma suspects. Ten were found to have cataract.
Finally, with the help of St. James’ Settlement, a local charitable organization, 200 underprivileged senior citizens have been recruited to enjoy free cataract surgery sponsored by One Foundation, which was founded by Mr. Jet Li, an international movie star and a Chinese martial artist. The first batch of patients had already had surgical treatment in the first week of January. They shared with the general public their joy of being able to see again during the kick-off ceremony of free cataract surgery program in which Mr. Jet Li had attended as an officiating guest. Mr. Jet Li said he was well aware of the prevalence cataract blindness in both Hong Kong and mainland China and he was glad that he could have the chance to help the visually impaired in Hong Kong.
APAO Eye Screening Day:
- Visual acuity is measured with an auto-refractor by a qualified optometrist.
- A volunteer ophthalmologist is conducting dilated fundoscopy to examine the fundus of the participant.
- Beneficiaries of the Project Vision Free Cataract Surgery Program share with Drs Dennis Lam and Alex Fan their joy of having the opportunity to regain their vision.
- A group photo taken after the opening ceremony of the APAO Eye Screening Day (Back Row, Left to Right: Dr Hunter Yuen, Dr Jackey Yau, Dr David Liu, Dr Alex Fan, Prof Clement Tham, Dr Dennis Lam, Dr Chi-Wai Tsang, Dr Emmy Li, Dr Yuanbo Liang, Dr Mary Ho, Dr Allie Lee; Front Row, Left to Right: Mr Kai-Ming Cheng, Ms Maranda Chin, Ms Jade Kwan, Mr Jason Chan, Mr Simon Siu)
Free Cataract Surgery Program Kick-Off Ceremony:
- Mr. Jet Li shares with the media the reasons why he set up One Foundation and his hopes to help the needy.
- The first batch of beneficiaries share with Mr. Jet Li, Drs Dennis Lam and Alex Fan their joy of being able to see again.
- Ms. Fung-Ming Wong thanks Mr. Jet Li for his philanthropy and the doctors for their care and professionalism.
- Representatives from each of the organizing parties are ready to kick off the Free Cataract Surgery Program to help more and more senior citizens in need.
- Left to Right: Mr. Philip Chow, Head of Chinese Program Service, RTHK; Dr. Alex Fan, Executive Committee Member, Project Vision Charitable Foundation; Mrs. Tiffany Heung, Director, One Foundation; Mr. Jet Li, Chairman, One Foundation; Mrs. Yuet-Wah Lee-Chu, Director, One Foundation; Mr. Charles Heung, Director, One Foundation; Dr. Dennis Lam, Secretary-General, Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology & Chairman, Project Vision Charitable Foundation; Prof Calvin Pang, Chairman, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong & Vice-Chairman, Project Vision Charitable Foundation; Prof Clement Tham, Chairman, Organizing Committee of the Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week 2012 & Deputy Secretary-General, Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology; Mr. Cooke Cheung, Senior Manager, St James’ Settlement
- Mr. Jet Li, Chairman of the One Foundation, received a souvenir from Dr Dennis Lam, Secretary-General of the Asia-Pacific Academy
Events such as eye screening and free cataract surgery programs were held.
Visually impaired patients who used to be a burden to their family can now contribute as a productive member, taking care of the daily household chores with their regained vision.
What’s more, public education campaigns were held to raise the awareness of eye health among the general public.