21 December 2022
Dear APCO Members,
Greetings from the APCO Executive Committee!
This newsletter covers the major activities of APCO since June 2021. Please take note of the action items that require your attention.
Elected Executive Committee
The new slate of members is listed below. For more information of member’s profile, please visit the APCO website.
President ‐ Prof. Carly Lam (Hong Kong)
Vice President ‐ Dr. Rajeev Prasad (India)
Treasurer ‐ Dr. Xuan Li Tan (Malaysia)
Member ‐ Dr. Melissa B Anglo (Philippines)
Member ‐ Mr. Horm Piseth (Cambodia)
Member ‐ Prof. Hyun‐Sung Leem (Korea)
Member ‐ Mr. Aruna Rathnayake (Sri Lanka)
Immediate Past‐President – Asso. Prof. Peter Hendicott
This committee serving term is from 3 September 2021 to 2 September 2023.
APCO Secretariat moved to Hong Kong
As of the end of 2021 Optometry Australia has retired from the services as APCO Secretariat. We wish to thank them for their contributions over the years. The Hong Kong Society of Professional Optometrists has kindly taken up the Secretariat for APCO from early this year for an interim of 12 months.
APCO activities and benefits
As a country member or an affiliate member, you are welcome to participate in APCO activities such as Educators’ Forum, the biennial APOC conferences etc. You can enjoy the benefit that APCO co-organized events with other member countries might bring as well as having the advantages brought about by taking part in World Council of Optometry activities.
Activities of APCO from 2021 onwards
- The Virtual Asia Pacific Optometric Congress (APOC) – in conjunction with the Optometry Virtual Connect 2021 (hosted by Optometry Australia) was held on 18-20 June 2021 as a joint conference. Over 20 hours of education was offered, the virtual conference provided the opportunity for our members to attend live keynote presentations and also over 20 hours of on-demand courses from Optometry Australia Institute of Excellence. Over 200 delegates from APCO benefited from this event.
- 1st APCO Educators Forum (Virtual) – This Forum was organized as part of the Optometry Virtual Connect 2021 on 18 June 2021. APCO was pleased to receive funding support from Optometry Giving Sight for this event. 165 educators within the region joined the Forum at which 10 speakers/educators shared their views on Optometry education.
The Forum was well appraised and most of the participating educators found the materials in the lectures useful and look forward to more of this type of Forums and sharing of resources
- 2nd APCO Educators Forum – This Forum was organized as part of the WCO “Eyes around the World – a global day of learning” on 20 November 2021. There were 6 educators from the region to share their views on “Teaching and Learning during the Pandemic”, which is part of the APCO Optometry Educators’ Forum.
- KB Woo Lecture
APCO was very delighted to introduce the KB Woo Lecturer Award in the Global CE day. Dr. Andrew Lam, Associate Head and Associate Professor of School of Optometry, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University was the recipient of this award in 2021. He shared a lecture on “OCT/OCTA: it is simple but yet not so simple”. The KB Woo
Lecture is a tradition for the Asia Pacific Optometric Congress and we are pleased that the KB Woo family continues to support APCO and sponsor the lecture.
Dr. Andrew Lam (middle) recipient of the KB Woo Lecturer award, together with
Prof. George Woo (left), representative of the KB Woo family and Prof. Carly Lam (right),
President of Asia Pacific Council of Optometry.
3rd APCO Educators Forum – This Forum was co-hosted by APCO and Indian Optometric Association that Optometry Giving Sight provided some funding support. It was on hybrid mode, held on 22 September 2022 in Pune, India.
The Forum invited eminent speakers from Australia, Hong Kong, Jordan, United Kingdom and India, covering topics of eLearning strategies, competency Optometry curricula, learning make easy with videos and ways to support student learning. There were also workshops for educators to refresh and update skills and knowledge. 97 participants from 12 countries and regions joined the APCO Educators Forum online. Altogether 7 hours of lectures and workshops were offered on the day.
3rd Educators Forum photos and videos of the hybrid platform.
3rd Educators Forum onsite participants and discussions
3rd Educators forum – Workshop on gonioscopy
Celebration of World Optometry Day
The Member countries of APCO celebrated the World Optometry Day each of their own ways, by engaging the eyecare profession to set goals and commitment to provide eye care services of their highest standards. On 23rd March 2022, the APCO President Prof Carly Lam and Treasurer Dr. Xuan Li Tan shared their thoughts in interviews by the World Council of Optometry on the needs, challenges, and achievements within the region. Prof Carly Lam talked about the different competency levels and education levels within the region and how APCO is determined to assist country members and eye care professionals to align these standards and meet the community
needs. Dr. Xuan Li Tan shared her views of the Optometry development in her country Malaysia. There are certainly rooms for improvement in communication within the profession, educators,
and also the government sectors. These videos are now available at
World Council of Optometry activities
- WCO Grant Program – this is a program that WCO membership benefitted by receiving funding in both General Grants and Education Mentor Grants that support the vision and mission of WCO.
- WCO Legislation, Registration, and Standards Toolkit – this is made available for WCO Member and WCO’s Country and Affiliate Members.
- Webinars – APCO members can attend WCO online webinars. There have been several online webinars with hot topics including myopia management, dry eye management and paediatric eye examination.
- World Sight Day – WCO supports its country members’ World Sight Day Campaigns, as well as acknowledging its members’ World Sight Day activities. APCO members have taken this special day to promote the importance of eye care on various themes.
Shared news from our members
- Japan Optometric Association – Former APCO President Dr. Akio Kanai was featured and honoured by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for his work with Fuji Optical, providing glasses to improve the eyesight of refugees.
- Indian Optometric Association – A significant milestone in the history of optometry in India was reached in 2021, with the passing of a bill by the Parliament which will regulate healthcare profession including optometry. Congratulations to all our colleagues in India who lobbied for many years for this outcome.
Awards and Honours
Dr. Rajeev Prasad, Vice President of APCO received the Bihar Excellence Award from the Honourable Deputy Chief Minister, Government of Bihar, Shri Tarkishore Prasad on the Occasion of “Bihar Diwas” in March 2022.
APCO has waived the membership fee for 2021 and 2022 (2 years) due to COVID-19. It is decided that APCO will keep the same amount USD150 for annual membership fee even though the fee has not been revised for many years. If a country member is still suffering from hardship and having difficulties in paying the membership fee, the country member may contact the Secretariat of APCO in applying for special arrangements. It will be considered on a case-by-case basis
The Asia Pacific Optometric Congress 2023 is up and coming. It will be held on 2-4 June 2023 in New Delhi, India. The theme is “Be Revitalized and Inspired”. Please visit Asia Pacific Council of Optometry website on “APOC 2023” page for more information. Early bird will enjoy a special discount before the deadline. Looking forward to seeing you in APOC 2023.
Season’s Greetings and A Prosperous Year of 2023!!
The Executive Committee, APCO
Prof. Carly Lam
Ms. Linda Liu
Asia Pacific Council of Optometry