Sixth Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week

APAO EYE CARE WEEK 2016 810X159

We are pleased to announce that the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology is organizing its sixth Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week in the second week of October, from October 10 – 16, 2016, in conjunction with World Sight Day 2016 (October 13, 2016).

This year, the Public Education Standing Committee partnered with the Central Secretariat to identify two major themes for the event, namely ‘Cornea Infections in Asia’ and ‘Diabetic Macular Edema.’ APAO has worked closely with our subspecialty member societies, including the Asia Cornea Society (ACS) and the Asia-Pacific Vitreo-retina Society (APVRS), to produce a comprehensive set of educational materials and media kit.

Member societies are most welcome to use these materials for public educational purposes during the 6th Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week. Additionally, please feel free to download and use the artwork representing the 6th Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week to show further support of our initiative.

Media Kit

Eye Care Campaigns in the Asia-Pacific Region

In Bangladesh …

In celebrating the 6th Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week, the Scientific Subcommittee of the Ophthalmological Society of Bangladesh (OSB) aimed to not only raise awareness of the two chosen themes, but also tried to spread the word about APAO in general. The society targeted the largest ophthalmological institute and eye departments in the country, which have a large number of ophthalmologists, students and residents. The following events were organized as part of the Eye Care Week celebrations:

1. A seminar on diabetic macular edema was held at the National Institute of Ophthalmology and Hospital on October 10, 2016, with APAO Vice-President Prof. Ava Hossain as the chief guest. OSB President Prof. Sharfuddin Ahmed, General Secretary Prof. AHM Enayet Hossain and other office bearers also participated in the seminar. Dr. Tariq Reza Ali and Dr. Dipak Kumar Nag, retina specialists, gave presentations on diabetic macular edema.

2. Seminars on corneal infections in Asia were organized at BIRDEM Hospital, presided over by OSB Scientific Subcommittee Chair Prof. Ashraf Sayeed, and at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), with Prof. Zafar Khaled, BSMMU department head, presiding. Cornea specialists Dr. Rajasree, Dr. Shish Rahman and Dr. Abdul Quader, OSB Treasurer, were presenters.

3. An outreach program with the themes of diabetic macular edema and corneal infections was organized at a peripheral hospital. OSB Scientific Secretary Dr. Nuzhat Choudhury and OSB Organizing Secretary Dr. Tariq Reza Ali along with a team of ophthalmologists participated in the program, which included presentations on the two themes for patients and their relatives.

4. Protective goggles were distributed to farmers to help prevent agricultural trauma by Dr. Nuzhat Choudhury, OSB Scientific Secretary, on behalf of the society.

5. APAO Vice-President Prof. Ava Hossain appeared on a Desh TV program to discuss the 6th Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week and this year’s themes. Prof. Zafar Khaled, BSMMU department head, was a guest on a SATV program also featuring the Eye Care Week.

In Chinese Taipei …

In 2016, the Ophthalmological Society of Chinese Taipei (CTOS) partnered with Alcon Taiwan for the fourth time during Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week, with a joint aim of advocating better eye care for the public. Other local organizations including the Taiwan Academy of Ophthalmology, Taiwanese Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons, Taiwan Association for Prevention of Blindness and Low Vision, Taiwan Visual Optics and Refraction Association, Taiwan Retina Society, Taiwan Care for All Association, Love Blind Association, Taiwan Guide Dog Association, and Lions Clubs International Taiwan also participated in the event, further demonstrating the theme of “Strong Together” by coordinating interdisciplinary action against eye conditions. During Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week, a series of events were held to educate the people of Chinese Taipei about the importance of eye health.

This year, another survey about eye care trends was conducted on subjects of different age groups in Chinese Taipei. Compared with the results from the 2015 survey, respondents spend 1 hour less using 3C products (computer, communication and consumer electronics) per day, but daily use still nears 8 hours. Most people use 3C products in incorrect ways. For instance, 80% do not rest for 10 minutes after 30 minutes of use; 75% of respondents who experience eye strain do not seek medical attention; and 60% use 3C products in dark environments. Therefore, a set of eye care guidelines for different age groups was designed. In addition to the “2 Dos and 3 Don’ts,” it features easy-to-follow tips aimed at specific eye diseases and bad habits for different age groups. The guidelines are available for download on the CTOS website at http://www.oph.org.tw/.

The “Enhancing Sight, Enhancing Lives” public forum was held on October 1 at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. Dr. Da-Wen Lu, Dr. Huey-Chuan Cheng, Dr. Hung-Chi Chen, Dr. Nai-Wen Fan and Dr. Yi-Ting Hsieh were present to discuss glaucoma, dry eye syndrome, cataract, presbyopia and retina conditions. More than 300 people attended the public forum and raised questions about the treatment and prevention of eye conditions.

For the first time in Chinese Taipei, CTOS and Alcon Taiwan organized an eye disease virtual reality (VR) experience, which was launched on October 13 at various branches of Taipei City Hospital. Nearly 800 people took part in the VR experience, in which simulations of eye diseases allowed viewers to “see” the visual defects. Many participants stated that in the past, they could only imagine eye diseases from written text or doctors’ explanations. However, after the VR experience, they understood the distortion caused by macular degeneration and the narrow vision in glaucoma, along with other effects of presbyopia, cataract, etc.

The series of events organized by CTOS and Alcon Taiwan during Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week also featured three press conferences, each with different topics. The organizers partnered with media to help educate the people of Chinese Taipei on correct eye care in the modern era. Together, these activities comprise the largest eye care advocacy efforts in 2016 and allow eye care networks in Chinese Taipei to align with World Sight Day, the global ophthalmology event.

In Hong Kong …

The joint public education committee of the College of Ophthalmologists of Hong Kong (COHK) and the Hong Kong Ophthalmological Society (HKOS) chose the theme of diabetic macular edema for their 2016 public education campaign, which included events during the 6th Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week.

After completing a survey of public awareness of diabetic eye diseases in August 2016, questionnaires were analyzed and the results revealed at a press conference on October 11. Dr. Pak Chin Chow, COHK president; Dr. Jeffrey Chiu Fai Pong, HKOS vice president; Dr. Raymond Lai Man Wong from the Chinese University of Hong Kong; and Dr. Pui Pui Yip, chair of the joint COHK-HKOS public education committee, all provided insights into the findings.

A total of 795 diabetic patients were interviewed in the survey, 72% of whom were aware of visual symptoms after being diagnosed with diabetes and 58% of whom reported visual impairment. However, only 37% of respondents had eye screenings within the first year of diagnosis.

The joint COHK-HKOS committee also organized a free public screening event on October 23 targeting 150 diabetic patients. The screenings included mydriatic exams with indirect biomicroscopy, with or without optical coherence tomography of the macula. Some patients with diabetes-related eye complications were identified and referred accordingly.

Dr. Wing Man Ko, BBS, JP, Secretary for the Hong Kong Food and Health Bureau, was the guest of honor at the event. Celebrities Mr. Evergreen Mak and Mr. Ram Chiang were also in attendance as “Diabetic Eye Care Ambassadors” of the campaign. They shared some healthy diet tips and urged diabetics to get early eye check-ups.

Additionally representatives from HKOS conducted interviews on the topic of diabetic macular edema on RTHK Radio 5 and TVB, one of the major TV channels. In local newspapers, more than 100 news clippings were published about the Eye Care Week activities.

In Thailand …

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists of Thailand (RCOPT) translated the educational materials for the 6th Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week into Thai. Several press releases and telephone interviews were scheduled to promote the event and eye health awareness. Unfortunately, these were cancelled due to the passing of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej and the subsequent countrywide mourning period.

Additionally, RCOPT published a book about eye health to increase public knowledge of important eye diseases. The College dedicated the book to both the 6th Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week and World Sight Day 2016, and sales were launched at Thailand’s National Book Fair. Books were also distributed via eye clinics and book counters around the country, with sales reaching nearly 2,000 copies to date.