‘Eye Health in a Changing World’ Virtual Conference Held Successfully

‘Eye Health in a Changing World’ Conference was organised by India Vision Institute. This was a virtual conference successfully held on 03rd – 04th October 2020. Global and national experts focus on eye health, vision impairment at this conference.

National and international experts at the India Vision Institute-hosted Eye Health in a Changing World conference, 3-4 October, renewed their focus and attention on eye health. The conference held amid COVID-19, experts said, came at the most appropriate time when the world confronts the challenge of the pandemic. With eight workshop sessions on October 2, the conference saw top experts speak at keynote sessions, panel discussions, and parallel tracks in the subsequent days.

Eye Health in a Changing World was dedicated to the memory of late Professor Brien Holden, who was a co-founder of India Vision Institute (IVI), along with Dr GN Rao, Founder-Chair, LV Prasad Eye Institute. The conference came with the support of a host of national and international associations, institutions and top optical companies. IVI particularly acknowledges the support of Luxottica India as the Platinum Sponsor and Essilor as the Gold Sponsor.

“The international conference was a major event in the year’s eye health calendar and focused on eye health issues amid the current preoccupation with COVID-19,” said IVI’s CEO, Vinod Daniel. “Registered participants from India and 36 other countries gathered virtually for three days for panel discussions on themes of great relevance. There were keynote speakers, oral and poster presentations, and some 50 exhibitors participating in a virtual trade fair,” he noted. “The conference hosted some 1,330 registered delegates comprising professionals and students. The plenary and parallel sessions saw 199 speakers,” Mr Daniel added.

Some 42 exhibitors showcased their products, services, and innovations in the virtual trade fair. The conference commenced with an opening session comprising leading speakers, including Dr GN Rao, RN Mohanty, President, Vision 2020 and CEO, Sightsavers India, Ms Yvonne Holden, wife of Professor Brien Holden, and Vinod Daniel. 

Dr GN Rao spoke on ‘Eye health for all: Where does India stand and the way forward’, and Peter Holland, CEO, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), focused on the ‘World Report on Vision and the Sustainable Development goals’, both setting the scene for what was to follow in sessions ahead.

Luxottica India’s Country Manager and Managing Director, Akash Goyle, and Essilor’s Country Manager for the South Asia region, Raghavan NS, provided messages wishing success to the proceedings. Prof Peter Hendicott of the Asia Pacific Council of Optometry (APCO) and President-elect World Council of Optometry, and Australia’s High Commissioner to India, HE Barry O’Farrell, gave messages of hope and encouragement to the conference.

‘World Report on Vision and the Sustainable Development goals’ by Peter Holland, CEO, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and ‘Integrated People-Centred Eyecare – The Way Forward’ by Dr Alarcos Cieza, United Head, Sensory Functions, Disability and Rehabilitation’, WHO, were some other interesting talks.

The conference had something for everyone. It included topical issues, from the World Report on Optometry and ‘Vision and Road Safety’, to ‘Contact Lens Practice post-COVID’, and ‘Effective Health Communication’, the latter by one of America’s leading health journalists, Laura Ungar, and India Blooms editor, Sujoy Dhar.

Other sessions included ‘Enabling Access – Spectacle to Every Indian’, ‘Myopia Control’, ‘Beyond Vision Centres – Accessible Eyecare’, ‘Optometry Practice in India’ and ‘Principles of Evidence-Based Practice’.

During the days and weeks leading to the conference, the website and conference platform were a huge draw among participants, delegates and visitors. The conference website saw over 9,000 visits and another 2,200 people visited the platform. The dates for IVI’s next annual international conference were announced as 9-11 September 2021.


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