Aims & Activities of SAO
The aims of SAO are to promote peace, solidarity and ocular health in the region of the SAARC countries. As per the constitution the aims of SAO are as follows
- To promote the science and art of Ophthalmology for the benefit of all people of the region.
- To encourage and promote close co-operation and collaboration between Ophthalmological Societies of SAARC countries and other Regional and global organizations with similar aims.
- To encourage and promote prevention of blindness activities and restoration of sight through teaching, research, public awareness programs, service or any other way deemed appropriate by the Council.
- To organize regional congress or such other educational and scientific activities of SAARC Academy of Ophthalmology for advancement of eye care knowledge and standards in the region.
- To take all necessary measures to stimulate and encourage ophthalmic research in the region and arrange for its publication and global dissemination in the SAARC Journal of Ophthalmology
- To support and undertake charitable work in the area of Ophthalmology for public benefit.
- To raise funds and obtain financial assistance through donations, sponsorships for otherwise for the attainment of any or all of the objectives.
- To do all such other things incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above objectives or any of them.
Various activities have been undertaken by South Asian Academy of Ophthalmology which include the following
- SAO was revived in the XVth annual Scientific Sessions of the College of Ophthalmologists at Sri Lanka which was held between 20th-24th September, 2006, Colombo, Srilanka. This was the VIIIth Ophthalmological Congress of SAARC Countries. The presence of eminent ophthalmologists from around the world helped to update knowledge of various ophthalmologists so that they were more conversant with modern practices in ophthalmology. This meeting consisted of 14 instruction courses, 12 symposia, 26 update sessions and 94 free paper/poster presentations.
- The 2nd conference was held in New Delhi in conjunction with the IIIrd Indian AMD Congress between 23-24th August, 2008, IHC, Lodhi Raod, New Delhi. It was attended by over 1000 ophthalmologists. This had wet laboratory sessions for hands on training for development of surgical skills of various ophthalmologists and 15 live surgery sessions to make the ophthalmologists in SAARC region aware of the latest techniques and technology. Additionally there were 40 instruction courses and symposia and trade exhibition which showcased the latest in machines and technology.
- The 3rd conference was held in Dhaka with the 38th Annual National Conference of Ophthalmological Society of Bangladesh between 5-8th March, 2011. This was attended by a total of 903 ophthalmologists. There were delegates from India, Srilanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, USA, Egypt, Singapore. The trade exhibition had 37 stalls from different companies of Bangladesh and India.
- In collaboration with the International Council of Ophthalmology and Fred fellows foundation, an exchange program for fellows is being developed to enhance ophthalmic training in various subspecialties of ophthalmology .The training centers for various ophthalmologists have been complied and focal persons who would be imparting the training have been identified. A directory has been published so that fellows/residents can undergo training in these centers.
- SAO in conjunction with the 28th Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology and All India Ophthalmogical society has co-sponsored an ophthalmic mega event which was held between 17-20th, 2013, at HICC/ Hitex , Hyderabad. It was inaugurated by the president of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee (The card and the program enclosed). It had comprehensive scientific program consisting of over 2000 lectures in 21 ophthalmic sub specialties delivered by 1075 distinguished speakers from 52 countries. There were 28 free paper and 113 instruction courses. It was attended by over 10,000 delegates from various countries in the SAARC region.