The 2nd IVI International Optometry – Eye Health in a Changing World’ Conference, organised virtually by India Vision Institute (IVI), 9-11 September, concluded today with a call for concerted action to tackle the world’s eye health problems, especially Uncorrected Refractive Error and myopia.
The two-day conference, with a pre-conference workshop session on September 9, brought global and national experts to focus on eye health and vision impairment.
IVI’s CEO, Vinod Daniel, said “Myopia is becoming a growing public health problem. Research has predicted that the rise in myopia worldwide will continue in the coming decades. In India, experts see the problem mounting among rural and urban school-going children. These call for urgent attention.”
“This conference follows last year’s Eye Health in a Changing World Conference held in October 2020. The international conference is becoming a major event in the annual eye health calendar across the world.”
The theme and focus areas were on ‘Myopia management’, ‘Artificial intelligence in eye care’, ‘Legislative frameworks’ ‘Human resource challenges’, and ‘Partnerships’.
“Some 1,300 participants from India and 36 other countries registered to listen to talks and discussions on issues and challenges. The conference included keynote speaker sessions, oral and poster presentations, and parallel sessions in 40 hours of live interactive sessions,” he noted.
The conference began with an opening session comprising leading speakers, including Dr GN Rao, RN Mohanty, President, Vision 2020 and CEO, Sightsavers India, Peter Holland, CEO, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), Peter Hendicott, President-Elect, World Council of Optometry (WCO), and Vinod Daniel.
The principal supporters of the conference were EssilorLuxottica. Luxottica India’s Country Manager and Managing Director, Akash Goyle, and Essilor South Asia Country Manager, Raghavan NS, provided messages of support and success to the proceedings. Bausch and Lomb were the Gold sponsor. Titan Eyeplus supported with gift vouchers for prize-winners in the conference contests.
Keynote speakers at the conference included: Prof Matthew Burton, Director, International Centre for Eye Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; Dr Anthony Vipin Das, Consultant Ophthalmologist, LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad; Amanda Davis, Director for Strategic Initiatives, The Fred Hollows Foundation; Prof Kovin Naidoo, Senior Vice President Social Impact: Africa & Latam and Advocacy, Essilor International; Prof Ian Bailey, Professor Emeritus of Vision Science and Optometry, Berkeley School of Optometry; Dr Kate Gifford, Co-Founder and Lead Educator, Myopia Profile Pty Ltd; Bayani F Abesamis, Barrister and Solicitor, Abesamis Law Office; Mitasha Yu, Co-chair, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness; OB Malope, Brand Growth Specialist; and Dr Babar Qureshi, Director – Inclusive Eye Health and Neglected Tropical Diseases, CBM.
Other sessions included ‘School Children Eye Health Program – Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic – the way froward’. ‘NGOs make a difference’, and ‘Partnering for eye health’.