World Congress of Optometry to focus on preventable blindness

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Hyderabad, July 25 (IANS) The second World Congress of Optometry, scheduled to be held here in September, will deliberate preventable blindness, refractive error and vision care as an integral component of public health, its organisers said.

The three-day conference, beginning on September 11 with the theme “Accessible, quality vision and eye health” is expected to be attended by 1,500 delegates.

Jointly hosted by the World Council of Optometry, Asia Pacific Council of Optometry, and the India Vision Institute (IVI), it will be one of the largest gatherings of optometrists, health professionals and public health specialists, the organisers said.

This year’s theme ties into the World Health Oganisation’s ‘Universal Eye Health: A global action plan 2014 – 2019’, the target of which is a reduction in the prevalence of avoidable visual impairment by 25 percent by 2019, according to a statement.

The conference will bring together world’s leading experts in public health and clinical care, said Professor Kovin Naidoo, CEO of the Brien Holden Vision Institute, who is the conference chair.

“The programme is aimed at addressing the twin challenge of quality care and access. We are really glad to host in India as India has made tremendous strides in terms of creating access through civil society organisations and government. Concurrently optometry is growing at a rapid pace in India and the challenge of quality care is brought into increased focus,” he said.

“With 100 million Indians suffering from blindness-related ailments, including uncorrected refractive error- and around 10 million children with the problem, the Congress 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,” noted IVI CEO Vinod Daniel.

He said the conference would deliberate key issues of preventable blindness, skill development and training optometrists and vision care delivery as an integral element of public health.

–IANS

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