This week the cherry blossoms in Tokyo welcome Fellows of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) and other ophthalmologists from around the world for the opening of the World Ophthalmology Congress (WOC). The WOC provides a forum for sharing expertise, networking and also getting acquainted with the latest trends and technologies. RANZCO board members and a large number of RANZCO Fellows are participating in this event.
Some highlights include Professor Charles McGhee giving the Mark Tso Golden Apple Lecture for Teaching, addressing the surgical learning curve, advanced skills transfer, apprenticeship and audit, and Professor David Mackey and Prof Ivan Goldberg presenting on paediatric glaucoma and glaucoma surgery, respectively. RANZCO board member Dr Catherine Green convenes incoming and graduation classes for the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) Leadership Development Program, co-facilitating a Teach the Teachers ICO symposium and is an invited speaker for the Young Ophthalmologists Session: Education without Borders. Professor Hugh Taylor will be taking over from Bruce Spivey as International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) President after the WOC.
Further afield, at a meeting of The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) Board of Trustees in Singapore last week, Dr Neil Murray was elected as Trustee. The IAPB seeks to maximise the impact of its members’ work, advocates for knowledge and awareness of comprehensive eye health system development, and promotes collaboration through working to each members’ strengths, and plurality of approaches to achieving its vision.
RANZCO’s strength in eye care education and professional standards fits well within the IAPB framework, complementing the work of others. This area of expertise is probably best illustrated through RANZCO’s involvement in activities of the Vision 2020 Australia Global Consortium and the Commonwealth Eye Health Consortium that require the development and promotion of professional standards in relation to the practice of eye care, fostering educational and training opportunities, and building capacity for a skilled and sustainable ophthalmic workforce that meets eye care needs.
Through partnerships we work in Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Timor-Leste and the Pacific Islands region, all countries that are likely to have ophthalmologist representation at the WOC. Therefore the Congress will offer opportunities to strengthen the existing relationships of RANZCO Fellows with their counterparts, provide networking opportunities that will no doubt result in additional programming and advocacy in the interests of contributing to the reduction of avoidable blindness and vision impairment.