Nepalese Association of Optometrists (NAO) is organizing the inaugural optometry conference themed as “Optometrists for Accessible Eye and Vision Care”, which is a milestone achievement in the history of eye care services in Nepal. In Nepal, the key professional bodies in the ophthalmic field are Nepal Ophthalmic Society (NOS), Nepalese Association of Optometrists (NAO) and Nepal Ophthalmic Assistants Society (NOAS). Notably, this conference includes all the eye care professionals both nationally and globally. The two day conference includes scientific presentations (oral and poster), workshops, wet-lab sessions, business expo and other events focusing the theme and supporting the World Sight Day (WSD) slogan “Eye Care Every Where.”
Pioneer experts from New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, Hongkong, India, Pakistan Srilanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan will be sharing their experiences and knowledge and clinical skills through special talks, workshops and scientific presentations. An attendance of 350 delegates is anticipated which includes more than 100 speakers. The collaborative effort of all Optometrists not only emphasizes the profession itself but takes care of all ophthalmic care professionals to standardize, improvise and give updated information on the present scenario of eye health which ultimately is going to help general people in our country. Notably, this event shares a forum for all the delegates to network and explore collaborative opportunities thereby leading to several avenues for optometry practice, education and standards. The conference also aims to enhance knowledge among practitioners and establish collaboration within eye care professionals with a common goal of providing quality care of Nepalese population.
The conference is under the presidenship of NAO Sanjeeb Kumar Mishra whereas scientific chairperson is Asik Pradhan and the organizing secretary is Birendra Mahat. The program is also planned to be live on major social networks.
This conference focuses on “Optometrists for accessible and vision care” with primary goals as:
1. Aware general public and health professionals about optometry profession.
2. Stipulate the role of optometry in blindness and visual impairment through promotion, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.
3. Provide evidence-based practice knowledge to ECP.
4. Disseminate information on latest development in patient care.
5. Empower optometry education in Nepal and abroad.
Optometry is a healthcare profession that is autonomous, educated, and regulated (licensed/registered), and optometrists are the primary healthcare practitioners of the eye and visual system who provide comprehensive eye and vision care, which includes refraction and dispensing, detection/diagnosis and management of disease in the eye, and the rehabilitation of conditions of the visual system. Currently there are more than 450 registered optometrists in Nepal. BP Koirala Center for Ophthalmic Studies, the first optometry school established in 1998 and National Academy Medical Sciences, from this year, runs the four –year Bachelor of optometry program.