Greetings from Indian Optometric Association.
It is an immense pleasure and privilege for the Indian Optometric Association to welcome you all to the 37th All India Optometry Conference i.e. AIOC 2018. It is a proud moment for all of us to inform you that this is also the 1st Optometry Conference that is taking place in collaboration with optometry professionals of SAARC countries. Themed "Innovations in Delivery and Access of Eye Care” in SAARC countries, the conference is scheduled from 30th March -1st April 2018 at the Constitution Club of India, New Delhi, India.
According to the WHO, "despite current measures, blindness in the world is increasing by 1 to 2 million cases per year – the result is a 100% increase in world blindness by the year 2020 unless more aggressive measures are in place. As per their latest and alarming statistics, whilst there are a very few number of individuals who are visually impaired (less than 20/60 in the better eye) globally, there are approximately 135 million people having low vision (between 20/70 and 20/400) & over 45 million people are blind (corrected visual acuity of less than 20/400 in the better eye) with 60% of these individuals living in India, China and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The traditional core of optometry has been the assessment of visual health and management strategies centered on spectacle lens and contact lens therapy. This core, however, has expanded greatly over the past century to include a number of other important services. Today's optometry professionals are educated and trained in optometry discipline education to provide the full range of services thereby enhancing vision, protecting health and prevent avoidable blindness due to refractive errors and visual impairment by over 80%.
If the number of optometry professionals (Optometrists) is higher than Ophthalmology professionals (Ophthalmologists), Optometrists can help share the load of primary eye care, enabling the Ophthalmologists to focus on surgical and medical procedures, whilst the optometrists could cater to all the diagnostic works, investigations and treatments at the primary eye care level for vision restoration, objective, subjective, refractions, retinoscopy, fundoscopy, orthoptics-pleoptics, low visual aids and minor ailments etc. To achieve this, an optometry department is a must have at every level of healthcare centres, providing easy access to eye care facilities to all patients & effectively contributing to the eradication of blindness.
AIOC Conferences held once in 2-3 years, have now become synonymous with providing an excellent opportunity to share research, experiences and optometry advancements to participants from all across the country and abroad. With notable speakers in optometry profession from SAARC countries, AIOC 2018 will see an exchange of information on latest developments in optometry discipline along with discussions on the level of education and status of optometry in international arena. A key outcome that we seek from this conference is to generate a better understanding of the role of optometry in eradicating the 80% avoidable blindness in SAARC countries. The key to achieving this success would be ensuring that primary eye care services are economically viable and easily accessible to common public. AIOC 2018 theme is thus not just a true reflection of this vision but also Indian Optometric Association's mandate for it's fellow optometrists.
The conference would include academic events like the hands on live workshops on latest topics like comprehensive eye examination, objective/subjective refraction, contact lenses prescription/fitting/dispensing, advanced slit lamp examination, early diagnose glaucoma, cataract,retinal diabetic conditions, low visual aids and rehabilitation etc.
I am sure the AIOC 2018 program would be an enriching, exciting and stimulating experience for all fellow optometrists.On behalf of Executive Board of IOA and the 37th AIOC Organizing committee, I invite and look forward to meeting you all during 30th March - 1st April, 2018 at Constitution Club of India in New Delhi.
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