The award lectures are a major highlight of the 36th Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology Virtual Congress (APAO 2021).
Below, we delve into the presentations from those experts recognized for their vast contributions toward ophthalmic advances in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.
Jose Rizal Medal Award Lecture: Challenges and Opportunities in Scaling ROP Services in the AsiaPacific Region In this lecture, Prof.
Rajvardhan Azad from India talked about the Asia Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) study, participated by nine countries: ลาวสามัคคี วีไอพี
Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
According to him, good human resources can be found in China, Thailand and India, with the number of doctors who can screen for ROP being 200, 900 and 200, respectively.
“Nonetheless, this is not enough to meet the demand for services required for the management of ROP,” he said. With the results of the study, Prof.
Azad and his team tried to establish the guidelines for ROP screening in APAC,
based on criteria such as existing healthcare, geographical location and accessibility to care, awareness, and clinical picture.
He noted the challenges that exist in the region.
These include barriers to effective screening, early detection
and treatment; awareness among parents, neonatologists and ophthalmologists; and lack of trained manpower to tackle the disease.
“Our study showed that the lack of screening underlines most stage 5 retinopathy cases in a large tertiary care center in India.
Among 354 infants, 115 are in stage 5. The mean principal component analysis (PCA) at first visit is 54.6 weeks and the mean delay is 24.7 weeks.
A common risk factor is oxygen therapy (103 babies; 89.6%), and 109 babies were never screened (89.8%).
“Another challenge is the understanding of the disease among ophthalmologists. Even though 86% of babies were referred by ophthalmologists, the correct diagnosis is only 4.3%,” he said.
“ROP screening is an essential part of modern neonatal care.
The mean period to develop treatable ROP is variable across the world and APAC region.
Screening guidelines vary from country to country, and developing countries do not recommend screening of larger babies.
Current international screening guidelines need to be modified according to local scenarios.
For a more focused approach to ROP care, we need to have training and manpower, education
and awareness, advocacy, documentation on pediatric fundus cameras, and accessibility for ROP regression,” he stressed.
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