An academic feast

The 4th WCPOS was marked by the desire of the delegates to contribute, learn and help shape future vision of the children of this world

Soosan Jacob

Posted: Thursday, February 1, 2018

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

That was the rousing message from Dr Ken Nischal at the end of a very successful 4th World Congress of Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, in Hyderabad, India.

Almost 1,200 attendees from more than 60 countries converged to make this the most successful WCPOS to date. With founding co-chairs Drs Ken Nischal and David Granet and other members of the executive committee coordinating internationally and Dr Ramesh Kekunnaya locally, this was an academic feast.

The entire conference was marked by the desire and enthusiasm of the delegates to contribute, learn and help shape future vision of the children of this world.

Professor Harminder Dua, UK, delivered the Kanski Medal Lecture on Posterior Corneal Anatomy: Context, Controversy, Corroboration and Clinical Considerations. For the first time he shared notification that the corneal layer he had recently described would be officially called the ‘Dua-Fine Layer’.

The Strabismus Lecture was delivered by Professor Richard Hertle, USA, on How and What We Learned From Studying Nystagmus in Infancy and Childhood.

Professor Lea Hyvarinen of Finland delivered the Non-Strabismus Lecture on Non-Strabismus The Important First Year.

Several awards were also presented for outstanding contributions. These were:
Best Paper – Jyoti Matalia; Vimal Rajput; Simon Westby
Best Poster – Marcia Tartarella; Sujata Sharma
Best Video – Bhanunathi Madhavrao

Workshops were conducted on lid and orbital disorders, lacrimal surgery, practical strabismus, orthoptics and ocular brachytherapy. Live surgery sessions demonstrated techniques of minimally invasive strabismus surgery, trabeculotomy with trabeculectomy and zepto for paediatric rhexis. Cross-linking in children, Paediatric Dry Eye Workshop (PeDEWS), low vision treatment in children, ocular genetics, paediatric glaucoma, ocular trauma, nystagmus, electrodiagnostics and use of newer imaging techniques such as ASOCT, UBM and OCT angiography in strabismus were other informative sessions. There was huge interest in paediatric myopia, with talks on epidemiology, causes, prevention, atropine treatment, role of increased outdoor time for children, use of dopamine as a biomarker for paediatric myopia and refractive surgery.

Major symposia focused on amblyopia, strabismus resurgeries, cerebral/cortical visual impairments, paediatric uveitis and tumours of the lid and orbit, gliomas and CNS tumours, intraocular tumours and retinoblastoma. Interesting debates were conducted on the use of multifocal IOLs in children, limbal vs pars plicata approach for posterior capsulorhexis, and surgical vs non-surgical approach to high AC:A ratio accommodative esotropia.

The Retinopathy of Prematurity debate regarding surgery vs anti-VEGF for advanced disease saw many supporters for anti-VEGFs, but with plenty of discussion and unresolved issues regarding drug, dosage, recurrence, follow-up post-op injections, retreatment, long term safety etc.

A mock trial, court-room drama enacted on non-accidental paediatric ocular injuries demonstrated and gave advice to delegates on handling the duties of being an expert witness. Other interesting talks included a debate on whether paediatric ophthalmology was viable in private practice and on how to raise interest in this sub-speciality among residents.

Dr Nischal reminded everyone of Goethe’s famous quote: “Ideas are like pawns in a game of chess: they may get wiped out but they may be the beginning of a winning game.” WSPOS wants everyone to keep those ideas of innovative learning to keep coming.

See you in Amsterdam October 3-5, 2020, for WCPOS 5!