Under the auspices of H.E. Dr.Tawfiq Bin Fawzan Al Rabiah, Health Minister, H.R.H. Prince Abdulaziz bin Ahmad, President of the Saudi Ophthalmology Society and H.E. Dr. Abdulaziz bin Ibrahim Al-Rajhi, General Executive Director of King Khalid Eye Specialist Hospital (KKEAH) initiated the activities of the three-day Saudi Ophthalmology Meeting 2017 which was held in Prince Sultan hall at Al- Al Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh.
The Opening ceremony began with reciting some verses of the Holy Quran followed by the Opening speech of KKESH given by Dr. Saleh Al-Mesfer, Executive Medical Director, in which he pointed out that the meeting of this year focuses on the recent advances in ophthalmology which includes: "uveitis, anterior segment, retina, glaucoma, optometry and pharmacological activity", in addition to the symposium about the Management of Ophthalmology Practices East and West Connection. He explained that KKEH aims to provide distinguished and leading specialist healthcare services which meet the highest standards of healthcare in addition to the hospital's major role in research and studies of eye diseases and treatment. He added that KKESH is an educational and training center which trains and qualifies ophthalmologists and professionals who provide supportive health services to keep up with the global advances. Up to this year, (311) fellows (male and female) have completed the sub-specialty fellowship program; (32) of them are from the gulf countries.
He concluded by thanking His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, President of the Saudi Ophthalmology Society, for his efforts to develop ophthalmology in the Kingdom and for his unlimited contributions to prevent visual impairment locally, regionally and internationally. He also extended thanks to Dr. Tawfiq Bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah for the auspices of the meeting and his support to the hospital.
H.H Prince Abdulaziz bin Ahmad ben Abdulaziz gave a speech in which he said:
I would like to welcome you to the scientific meeting of the Saudi Ophthalmology Society 2017, with the participation of selective ophthalmologists from Saudi universities and hospitals and from the neighbor countries. We are pleased that this meeting is a combination of both (the 29 annual scientific meeting of the Saudi Ophthalmological Society) and (the 34 KKESH symposium). This meeting hosts (19) international visiting professors.
He added: "The Society aims to promote continuous medical education. (29) Scientific meetings were held annually by the society. It also organized more than 60 scientific symposia in different regions of the Kingdom to educate primary healthcare physicians. The Society also held more than (160) general symposia to raise awareness about common eye diseases, and published 23 booklets to enhance health awareness. These publications were distributed in conferences, symposia, seminars and events. The Saudi Journal of Ophthalmology has achieved a distinguished position as a peer-reviewed journal in ophthalmology which releases studies and scientific researches to support the specialist researcher and to develop eye disease research. It is an electronic journal that is available through the most famous international sites specialized in the publication of scientific and medical journals. The society website continues its success in providing services to the ophthalmology community in its Arabic and English versions meeting the expectations of the Society members and the ophthalmology community. This year's meeting focuses on the new advances in the field of ophthalmology, optometry and blindness prevention. We are pleased with the increase in the number of members of the Society and the number of participants in this meeting with about 1800 participants and 45 medical companies participating in the medical exhibition accompanying the meeting. In conclusion, I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, for his support and care of medicine in general and ophthalmology in particular, and thanks to His Royal Highness Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, the Honorary President, for the good guidance which placed the Society in a distinguished position regionally and internationally."
H.E. Dr. Abdulaziz bin Ibrahim Al Rajhi, General Executive Director of King Khalid Eye Specialist Hospital, delivered the speech of His Excellency Dr. Tawfiq Bin Fawzan Al Rabiah, Minister of Health, in which he said: "I would like to welcome you to the Saudi Ophthalmology Symposium of this year which represents the cooperation and integrity that the Ministry seeks in its partnership with scientific societies and academic institutions.
He stressed that this partnership represents the Kingdom's vision 2030 and the optimal use of the rich resources of the country. Ophthalmology was one of the first medical specialties to drive our health progress. King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital played a pivotal role in establishing a strong base in this field which we are proud of regionally and globally. The hospital is the first in the Middle East to obtain the HEISS Stage7. It is also the most publishing medical center of ophthalmology researches in the Arab world, as well as being a global training and educational center.
The Ministry of Health is fully aware that the continuing this excellence requires continuing the improvement and development of efforts, through enhancing staff performance by training and improving work environment. It is also important to focus on the quality of research to include national surveys and investigations about our common diseases. We are keen to keep the hospital excellence by holding international seminars and leading the scientific progress in its field. The Ministry of Health will spare no effort in supporting the hospital in maintaining its distinguished cadres and attracting distinguished people both locally and internationally.
In conclusion, he extended thanks to His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for his continuous support to all eye activities locally and internationally. He also thanked all institutions and staff for organizing this meeting.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud granted "Prince Ahmad ben Abdulaziz shield of excellence to the representative of the Society in the Kingdom regions, Dr. Ali Al Khairiy, Consultant Ophthalmologist and Representative of Ophthalmology in Makkah Al Mukarramah Region, for excellence in the field of medical education, awareness raising and health education.
Prince Abdul Aziz bin Ahmed's shield for blindness prevention was awarded to Prof. Kaufen Naide, Head of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness in Africa, Executive Chief of the Brian Holden Medical Foundation and Associate Professor of Optics at the University of Kozulua and the University of Salos in Philadelphia. He is also the one who presented the lecture of Prince Abdulaziz bin Ahmad Shield for blindness Prevention under the title (the results of global cooperation in preventing the blindness of children
The gold medal of the Saudi Society of Ophthalmology was awarded to Dr. Ahmed Mokhtar Abu Al-Asrar, Professor of Ophthalmology at King Saud University. The Society used to select the most important subject for ophthalmologists in the Kingdom and the best expert ophthalmologist. The subject of the gold lecture was (determining the types of inflammatory factors in patients with uveitis helps to determine the appropriate immunotherapy). In these studies, the types of cytokines and chemokines found in the eyes of patients with various uveitis were identified to determine the immune causes of these inflammations. This will lead to determining the appropriate immunotherapy for each type of infection.
King Khalid Memorial Lecture Award was granted to Professor Arun Singh, Professor of Ophthalmology, Department of Oncology and Pathology, Department of Oncology, Colle Institute of Ophthalmology, Cliff Land Clinic. The title of the lecture was "Anterior Segment and Surrounding Parts: a series of presentations".
The shield of the Saudi Society of Ophthalmology, which is awarded annually by the Society to one of its members for his/her distinguished scientific and social contributions to the various fields of ophthalmology, was awarded to Dr. Hassan bin Ayel Al-Thibi, Senior Consultant of Ophthalmology at King Khalid Eye Specialist Hospital and Chairman of the Saudi Retina Group in recognition for his efforts in supporting the educational objectives and activities of ophthalmology, especially in the vitreoretinal field.
A number of medical companies were honored for their support to various areas of eye care. Amico, Bayer, Mondivarma, Medicals International were awarded the first excellence shields. Three companies namely Gulf First, Al Basar and EMS were awarded the Diamond Shields.
H.H Prince Abdulaziz bin Ahmed bin Abdulaziz launched the medical exhibition. He walked around the exhibition with Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Rajhi and a number of participant ophthalmologists. The exhibition includes 45 platforms for the latest medical devices and drugs for eye surgery and treatment.