Since its formation in 1960, the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) has led ophthalmology in the region through education, service and research. The APAO was formed with the principal objective of fostering closer relations among ophthalmologists and ophthalmology societies in the Asia-Pacific region in order to combat blindness.
The APAO Congress was initially held once every four years, led by Dr. Geminiano de Ocampo, known to many as the “Father of Modern Philippine Ophthalmology.” To meet the growing demand for more frequent interactions and to provide ophthalmologists in the region with an important platform for the exchange of ideas, the APAO Congress became an annual event starting with the 21st Congress in Singapore in 2006.
In 2011, the APAO furthered its reach by launching the Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology to serve the ophthalmology community in the region and beyond. The journal covers 16 subspecialties and all articles are open-access.
The APAO has also worked effectively with the American Academy of Ophthalmology on a number of initiatives, from annual meetings to leadership development. The Academy recognizes the APAO for its decades of success as the supranational organization in the Asia-Pacific region, which is home to more than half of the world’s population.
According to the World Health Organization’s report, “Global Data on Visual Impairments 2010,” among the estimated 285 million visually impaired people in the world, over 180 million reside in the Asia-Pacific region, making the APAO’s significant role in the fight against preventable blindness all the more important.
APAO’s mission is also to “foster cooperation between ophthalmological societies in different countries and collaborate with other international or regional organizations with similar aims.” APAO has 25 member organizations comprised of six regional subspecialty societies and 19 national ophthalmology societies from different countries and territories.
The Academy congratulates the APAO and its leaders for six decades of success and distinguished service in the ophthalmology world.