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Maldives   Sri Lanka   Bhutan   Nepal

Launch of the official website
of SAO on
29th September 2014
• Prof Daud Khan
• Prof Ava Hossain
• Prof R V Azad
• Dr Saliya Pathirana
• ICO representative: Ms Cordula
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Message from the President, SAARC Academy of Ophthalmology


Prof. Nadeem Hafeez Butt
SAARC Academy of Ophthalmology (SAO)


The idea of SAARC- South Asian Association for Regional Corporation, was conceived in 1970 and the formal charter was signed by the seven countries on 8th December 1985 at Nepal. The eighth country, Afghanistan joined in April, 2007.

SAARC is a unique concept of regional cooperation with a very distinct diversity of geography, culture, and environment. The region holds the highest mountains in the world, land locked mountain terrains and one of the member country Maldives to be the smallest low line island nation of the world.

More than 1/3 rd of global population lives in this region which is one of the fastest growing and developing regions of the world.

SAARC Academy of Ophthalmology (SAO) was established in early 1990’s and was actively reorganized in 2008 by Prof. Muhammad Daud Khan from Pakistan and Prof. Rajvardhan Azad from India. Since then, it’s scientific and administrative meetings are regularly held and rotated in its member countries.
Ophthalmological Society of Pakistan and its Subspecialty Associations are playing their due role in promoting the development of art and Science of Ophthalmology in this region.

The regular participation of Pakistani Ophthalmologists in all the events is a source of strength and Inspiration for the whole region. The 2nd International Glaucoma Conference Pakistan was held in collaboration with SAO as a landmark in this direction. SAO is now a registered organization with SAARC Secretariat at Nepal. Thanks to Prof. Rajvardhan Azad and Prof. Namrata Sharma from India for making the extraordinary efforts.

As President of SAO, it will be my endeavour to develop harmony and friendship within the SAARC region with the support of Secretary General Prof. Rajvardhan Azad from India and other office bearers and members of SAO. It is my earnest desire that the Ophthalmologists of the SAARC region should have more frequent interaction and exchange of knowledge and skills.

I wish SAO to grow, prosper and flourish and to be a source of inspiration and leadership model for other sister organizations of the SAARC Region. Long live SAARC Academy of Ophthalmology.

Yours Sincerely
Prof. Nadeem Hafeez Butt
B.Sc, MB, FCPS, FRCS(Ed), FRCS(Glasg)UK MHPE(UHS), Gold Medalist

President ,
SAARC Academy of Ophthalmology (SAO)
Message from the Secretary General of SAO


Prof. Rajvardhan Azad
Secretary General
South Asian Academy of Ophthalmology


Dear Colleagues,
I am happy to share and announce that Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal- Kathmandu is the next venue of forthcoming 14th Saarc Academy of Ophthalmology congress to be held from 21-24th June 2018.Saarc Academy of ophthalmology is a Conglomeration of eight countries in south Asian region comprising of India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives & Afghanistan. We share common history, background, culture and Economic development and ophthalmology is no exception.

The society has been active for last 3 decades however was dormant for few years in the middle. I remember in early 90’s congress being held in Kathmandu followed by India. After a few years of dormancy it became active again when Prof Saliya Patirana my friend reconvened the 8th Saarc congress on my insistence in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2006 for which I remain grateful for his contribution in revival. Following this we organised next 9th conference in New Delhi (22-24 August, 2008) which was largely attended and generated good revenue for the association. Next 10th conference was held in Dhaka in Bangladesh (5-8th March 2011) where I got support from Prof Ava Hossain & Prof Modassir Ali. The meeting highlights included presence of President of Bangladesh who inaugurated this meeting besides rich Scientific Programme & Cultural events. I am thankful to OSP Karachi , Prof Tarique, Prof Nadeem and Prof Salim especially who made the 13th Saarc conference a great success last year(18-21st August 2016) with wonderful hospitality and Scientific presentation. Though we had some visa issues for Indians but in the end things went well.

This invitation will extend & expose the delegates to varying spectrum of ophthalmology eg. from Nano technology to community ophthalmology. We are planning a separate session for our young colleagues with sub speciality experience to forge ahead in their own area as future belongs to them. Our practicing ophthalmology friends will find SOPs- for management of commonly prevalent diseases in their practise. Senior colleagues would love to see and learn new techniques and modality of treatment as ophthalmology like any other branch of Medicine is a dynamic field.

Not to eulogise our region , our ophthalmic trade has come up in a big way, we have our ophthalmic industry and Manufacturing companies known and recognised globally. It will be on high Agenda for all delegates as we expect economically yet useful equipment on display especially during the conference.

Friends we have Kathmandu as the venue of next meeting and I am sure you are bracing up for the same. As I have mentioned speciality development is the main theme/objective of our society, Kathmandu meeting will be unique in the sense that it will focus on institution and personalities whose contribution & achievement has changed the scenario of eye care in this region more so in the super speciality of Ophthalmology. There are other programmes on the anvil which we will share with you soon and I am sure you will enjoy this meeting & remember for long.

With best wishes & looking forward to welcome you all.

Yours Sincerely

Prof. (Dr.) Rajvardhan Azad
Secretary General
Saarc Academy of Ophthalmology (SAO)