The next General Assembly–is closer than you think!

Director of Development and Communications
Organisation: IAPB

A GA for bold ideas. IAPB staff at the 10GA Gala dinnerFebruary 2020. In two years time, IAPB and its members will be going through a rush of emotions and the last bits of prep work for one of the biggest eye care events in our calendars—the IAPB General Assembly.

Memories of the 2016 assembly still linger: it truly was one of the largest confluences of every type of eye health professional; from ophthalmologists and optometrists, to managers and allied professionals. With nearly 1200 delegates, 200 speakers and 250 poster presentations, it has set some very high expectations for the 11th General Assembly to be held in Auckland, New Zealand in 2020.

A GA for bold ideas

Partnering with RANZCO, IAPB is looking forward to deliver an event that draws attention to all the big issues animating public health related to blindness and vision impairment. With two years to go, we are keen to hear from the membership on the themes you would like to see at the 11GA. IAPB is your organisation and the GA is your meeting. What topics do you want to see and discuss with your peers? This feedback will be very useful for us in planning for the GA.

A new theme

As planning for the 11GA in 2020 goes into high gear, we are getting a lot of inputs on the theme for the General Assembly. We will be delighted to hear from you, our members, on what you think should be the overarching themes and trends to discuss at the 11GA.

IAPB has always prided itself in its ability to offer a space for the varied and diverse issues in eye health. So, the General Assembly’s theme works best when it is a “call to action” that can work for these different groups. At 10GA for example, under the theme “Stronger Together”, we managed to cover a range of topics: dispensing spectacles to children, diabetic retinopathy, trachoma control, low vision, assessing quality, global burden of disease—you get the picture.

Remember, IAPB is a useful and powerful platform because it brings people with different ideas and interests together. So, when you think of themes, keep that in mind. For example, a theme around cataract maybe too limiting. What about your colleagues working in glaucoma, or those interested in patient-counseling or quality or fund-raising? We need a theme that is as big as our ambition and has space for the myriad ideas and issues we grapple with, as a sector.

Drop your ideas into the comment box below, it will help us a lot.

  • Fr George Kannanthanam cmf

    Great to know about the upcoming General Assembly and how much it can influence the course of the lives of millions of our brethren who are visually challenged.
    I suggest the theme could be – LET EVERYONE SEE.
    This focusses our attention on the group that we are addressing (the blind), on what is our purpose of intervention (that they may see) and also on the aspect that we need to make a combined effort for doing it involving all stakeholders (Let….) .
    This in fact is the motto of our Organisation – Project Vision. But we are only glad if this can be used by IAPB to drive home the message.

    Second suggestions is : Make eye donation as one of the focus interventions at the General Assembly. With about 10% of all blindness due to corneal problems, the Assembly would be able to motivate the people to come forward and donate their eyes after death. Especially in countries like India that has one third of blindness, this can bring sight to a large number of people.

    Third Suggestion:
    Let us have an activity in the General Assembly that can express solidarity with all visually challenged people. This is an activity we have developed called BlindWalk – blindfold people and take the participants in a Walk that will be led by the blind persons. This is an emotional experience and we end the BlindWalk with a pledge to help the visually challenged persons and to donate our eyes. We have done this very effectively in over 250 locations on World Sight Day in 2017 participated by more than 100,000 persons. We could share with you the methodology and procedures for organising it.

    Finally what is the way to be part of this General Assembly? As an organisation working to LET EVERYONE SEE’, I am looking forward to the opportunity to attend the program. I will be delighted to talk the Assembly about the eye donation movement.

    Looking forward to hearing from you,

    Rev Dr George Kannanthanam
    Founder Director
    Project Vision
    Bangalore, India
    +91- 9845811515
    [email protected]