e-Asia Optometric Congress

In partnership with Asia Optometric Congress, the Association of Malaysian Optometrists successfully hosted eAOC2020 with more than 2600 delegates from 18 – 19 November 2020

On 18 & 19 November, Malaysia hosted about 2600 attendees at the virtual Asia Optometric Congress. Organised by the Association of Malaysian Optometrists and Asia Optometric Congress, this congress was opened by YBhg. Datuk Dr Hj. Rohaizat Bin Hj. Yon on behalf of YBhg. Tan Sri Dato' Seri Dr Noor Hisham Bin Abdullah, Director-General of Health, Malaysia. 

 

This 2 day congress was attended by some 2600 attendees from 42 countries.  The programme featured 25 speakers from 16 countries and covered topics ranging from the responses to COVID-19, visual impairment, specialization in optometry such as sports optometry and myopia management, optometry education model, primary eye care practice and new technology in optical industry.

 

Our two key foreign speakers included : 

 

Dr Amanda Davis Western Pacific Regional Chair of The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB)
Dr Andreas Mueller Consultant of World Health Organization (WHO), Vision Programme

 

In a report by Naidoo et al in 2018, it was reported that the global potential productivity loss associated with the burden of visual impairment was estimated at USD 244 billion from uncorrected myopia.  In Asia alone, an alarming 2.5 to 3 billion people who suffer from vision Impairment. 

 

It is here where Optometrists as the front line primary eye care providers must play their essential roles  in addressing the burden of eyecare. The Association of Malaysian Optometrists (AMO) has taken the lead in this, and the AMO will continue to be the leader in promoting the optometry profession in this region.  In this aspect, the YBhg Tan Sri Dato Seri Dr Noor Hisham Bin Abdullah stressed that “Government as before, will extend constant support and make sure that relevant act and regulations be amended to facilitate our optometrists in providing an effective eyecare to the community.”

 

The global vision care market size (at retail value) in 2020 is  USD 60 – 70 billion.  Much if this is due to the alarming global myopia tsunami.  It is to be noted that 33% of the global population in 2020 suffers from myopia and by 2050, if left unchecked, will increase to 52% - this accounts for 5 billion of the world population and a staggering 1 billion of the world’s population will have high myopia . 

 

This is the reason for the eAsia Optometric Congress (eAOC). This is a congress by optometrists for optometrists and the programme and various initiatives that will be developed from this congress is built from the  vision of 'Asians helping Asia' with six key objectives:

  1. to establish the practice of optometry according to the eye health needs of the Asian region with due respect to the socio-economic, cultural aspects and identity of its people;
  2. to promote the science and profession of optometry across the Asian region;
  3. to adopt such endeavour that would lead to the establishment of formal optometry programs in the target countries/territories;
  4. to promote the recognition and advancement of optometry as a profession through legislation, regulation and education;
  5. to reduce the global threat of vision impairment and avoidable blindness through education and eye health advocacies; and
  6. to undertake projects and activities that would raise the standard of eye and vision care across the region.

 

AMO has been nominated to host the 3rd Asia Optometric Congress (AOC) where the optometry professionals in the region will gather together once again, hopefully in a face-to-face setting albeit with safe distancing protocols,  to promote and advance the optometric profession in Asia so that more people in Asia receive the required vision care services.

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