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Published: 14.04.2023
Rachael Bourke Membership Services Manager
Drew Keys IAPB Western Pacific Regional Manager
The Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) Congress in Kuala Lumpur

The Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) Congress in Kuala Lumpur this February was the first in-person APAO annual congress since 2019, and there was a palpable sense of excitement in the air as people from all over the world came together to network, learn and share knowledge and insight. Several of the IAPB team and many of our members were in KL for the Event – and to take part in a busy schedule of IAPB side-meetings.

The day before the APAO began, IAPB held a workshop on Ophthalmology and Integrated People-centred Eye Care (IPEC). Members from within the Western Pacific region participated in discussions on how to lead on engagement efforts for organisations to embed the implementation of IPEC in their work. The particular focus on ophthalmology was deliberate – acknowledging the significant role that ophthalmologists in the Western Pacific play leading advocacy efforts around the implementation of 2030 In Sight.

This was followed by a drinks reception to officially launch the IAPB Eye Health Technology Guide and celebrate the role that technology plays within 2030 In Sight. The event was very well attended by professionals across the sector who came to hear from senior leaders on the use of technology for eye health. Speakers included Dr Nor Fariza Ngah, National Head of Ophthalmology Services, Malaysia; Dr Daniel Ting, Associate Professor in Ophthalmology, Duke NUS Medical School; Babar Qureshi, IAPB Vice President; Amanda Davis, IAPB Western Pacific Regional Chair and Jude Stern, IAPB Head of Knowledge.

Over the next few days, the IAPB team attended various sessions, and presented on topics such as ‘AI and Big Data Analytics in Ophthalmology for Global Eye Health’; ‘Universal Health Coverage’ and ‘Integrated People Centred Eye Care in India and Nepal’. There was also a closed meeting to look at Cataract Surgery Quality in the region and the role that IAPB can play in advocating for across-the-board improvements.

Being at APAO reminded me of the value in meeting people face to face, engaging in important discussions, sharing knowledge, and learning from others experiences. I am really looking forward to our global event 2030 In Sight in Singapore in June, where we will have the opportunity to connect with old friends, forge new partnerships and be part of important conversations on how to take action to implement 2030 In Sight.

We look forward to seeing you there!