APAO History

1958
Brussels, Belgium

Brussels, Belgium

The Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) was formed by Dr. William J. Holmes in 1958. He fromed the APAO Constitution with Dr. Geminiano de Ocampo, Dr. Jesus Tamesis, Dr. Angelo and Dr. Ronald F. Lowe.
Dr. Joaquin Barraquer, Dr. Geminiano de Ocampo, Dr. William J. Holmes,
Dr. Jesus Tamesis, Dr. R. Ching, Dr. Akira Nakajima
1960
Manila, The Philippines

Manila, The Philippines

Group photo of the delegates
The 1st APAO Congress The official poster

Dr. Geminiano de Ocampo, the “Father of Modern Philippine Ophthalmology”, was the first APAO President and Congress President.
Dr. Geminiano de Ocampo spoke in the podium.

1964
Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne, Australia

Dr. William J. Holmes shared the mission of APAO. “The idea for the organization of the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology grew out of the realization that eye surgeons in the neighboring countries of Asia, Australasia, and Oceania were faced with identical ophthalmological problems.
1968
Singapore

Singapore

APAO launched the first Jose Rizal Medal.

The Jose Rizal Medal is the most prestigious medal of the APAO and is awarded to outstanding ophthalmologists for their excellence in ophthalmology within the Asia-Pacific region. It honors Dr. Jose Rizal, who was the first Filipino-known ophthalmologist and a national hero in the Philippines.

Dr. Jose Rizal Jose Rizal Medal
1972
Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland, New Zealand

The APAO Congress started
to hold biennially.
1974
Colombo, Sri Lanka
1976
Bali, Indonesia

Bali, Indonesia

Scientific Committee of the 6th APAO Congress
The scientific program shifted its focus from general topics of prevention of blindness to more specific areas, such as retinal disorders of vascular origin, optic neuropathy, reconstructive surgery of the eyelid, congenital cataract and pseudophakia.
1979
Karachi, Pakistan
Microsurgery was very new in the 1970s. APAO held the very first Microsurgical Teaching Workshop as part of its program for Continuing Education. The workshop was conducted by Prof. Saiichi Mishima (Japan), Dr. Arthur Lim (Singapore), Prof. Ian Constable (Australia), and Dr. Ian Robertson (Australia).
The first Gold Jose Rizal Medal (later: Jose Rizal International Medal) was initiated.

The Gold Jose Rizal Medal is another prestigious medal awarded to outstanding personalities from outside the Asia-Pacific region, who have made exceptional contributions to ophthalmology in the Asia-Pacific area.

The first Gold Jose Rizal Medal (later: Jose Rizal International Medal) was initiated.

The Gold Jose Rizal Medal is another prestigious medal awarded to outstanding personalities from outside the Asia-Pacific region, who have made exceptional contributions to ophthalmology in the Asia-Pacific area.

(Second right) The late (Baron) Prof. Jules Francois, the then President of the International Council Ophthalmology, was the first awardee of Jose Rizal International Medal. With him were Prof. Kobchai Prommindaroj, Congress President of the 8th APAO Congress.
1981
Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand

The first Distinguished Service Award was set up.
1983
Hong Kong

Hong Kong

APAO instituted the Holmes Lecture and the De Ocampo Lecture.
The Holmes Lecture is the highest award for exceptional contributions in preventive ophthalmology in the Asia-Pacific region. It honors Dr. William J. Holmes, whose main interest was in preventive ophthalmology.
The De Ocampo Lecture is the highest award to ophthalmologists from the Asia-Pacific region for their excellent academic achievements. It honors Dr. Geminiano de Ocampo, who had a distinguished academic record and a long career as a teacher of ophthalmology.
1985
New Delhi, India
1987
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1989
Seoul, South Korea

Seoul, South Korea

The 12th APAO Congress in Seoul
1991
Kyoto, Japan
1993
Dhaka, Bangladesh
The Susruta Lecture was inaugurated.

This Lecture recognizes ophthalmologists who have contributed to the control of mass cataract blindness. It honors Susruta, an ancient Indian physician back in 600 B.C. He used anatomy as the basis for surgery and practiced a wise system of therapeutics and surgical skills.
1995
6 subcommittees were formed.
  • Prevention of Blindness Committee
  • Research Committee
  • Education Committee
  • Congresses/Budget/Finance Committee
  • International Committee
  • Constitutional Changes Committee
1997
Kathmandu, Nepal
The APAO Secretariat was formed.

The Outstanding Service in Prevention of Blindness Award was set up.
1999
Manila, The Philippines

The APAO Travel Grant was instituted.
Susruta introduced and practiced extracapsular cataract extraction.
2001
Chinese Taipei
2003
Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand

The APAO logo was formed.

3additional subcommittees were formed:

  • Advisory Committee
  • Ethics Committee
  • Implementation Committee
2005
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The APAO Congress held from every 2 years to every year.
The Nakajima Award first took place.

The Award honors Prof. Akira Nakajima and is presented to individuals who have done outstanding international work in ophthalmology. The international activities should relate to prevention of blindness, ophthalmic service and research on major blinding conditions.

APAO explored cooperation with specialty organizations, including the Asia Pacific Association of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (APACRS), the International Glaucoma Societies in the Asia Pacific, Asia Pacific Society of Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery (APSOPRS), and International Retinal Foundation.
2006
Singapore

Singapore

The first ICO Mark Tso Golden Apple Award was presented.
APAO launched the Achievement Award Program.

APAO launched the Achievement Award Program.

(Third left) Prof. Yasuo Tano, (fourth left) Prof. Dennis Lam, and (third right) Prof. Arthur Lim inaugurated the 21st APAO Congress in Singapore.
2007
Lahore, Pakistan
The Congress Standing Committee was formed. Associate Prof. Frank Martin was appointed as Chairman.

The Committee oversees APAO’s annual congresses and works with local organizing committees to ensure there is continuity in planning and delivery of the congresses.

The formation of the Congress Standing Committee makes further congresses of APAO formalized and organized.
2008
Hong Kong, China
The 23rd APAO Congress is the first joint meeting with World Ophthalmology Congress (WOC), with a record high of 13,019 delegates.

The 23rd APAO Congress is the first joint meeting with World Ophthalmology Congress (WOC), with a record high of 13,019 delegates.

(From right) Prof. Yasuo Tano, APAO President, Prof. Dennis Lam, WOC President and 2008 Organizing Committee Chairman, inaugurated the 23rd APAO Congress in Hong Kong with (first left) Prof. Bruce Spivey, ICO President, and Mr. John Tsang, Acting Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
The first Arthur Lim Award took place.

The Award recognizes ophthalmologists who have exhibited exemplary leadership leading to substantial improvements in ophthalmic teaching and training. It honors Prof. Arthur Lim, who was a world leader in ophthalmology.
2009
Bali, Indonesia
Prof. Yasuo Tano Travel Grant was established in memorial of Prof. Yasuo Tano and to provide young ophthalmologists with sponsorship to attend APAO congresses.

The Grant was funded by endowments raised from general donations and all proceeds of the first edition of the A-Z in Ophthalmology series, of which Prof. Tano was one of the editors.
APAO inaugurated the first APAO Leadership Development Program (LDP). LDP aims to provide both orientation and skill development to future leaders of ophthalmology in the Asia-Pacific region. Dr. Michael Brennan, Past President of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, generously gave his advice and support for the Program. The LDP Committee was also set up. It consisted of Prof. Frank Martin, Prof. Philip Lam, Prof. Dennis Lam, Dr. S. Natarajan, and Dr. Jun Shyan Wong.
2010
Beijing, China

Beijing, China

The 25th APAO Silver Jubilee Congress, co-hosted by the Chinese Ophthalmological Society (COS) in Beijing, had a total of 11,607 delegates from 103 countries, the highest record of an APAO congress without any co-hosting organization.
18 standing committees were finally formed.
  • Advisory
  • Advocacy
  • Award
  • Congress
  • Constitutions and Bylaws
  • Fellowship
  • Journal
  • Leadership Development Program
  • Membership
  • Online Education
  • Ophthalmic Education
  • Practice Guidelines
  • Prevention of Blindness
  • Public Education
  • Research
  • Subspecialty
  • Women Ophthalmologists
  • Young Ophthalmologists
2011
Sydney, Australia
2012
Busan, South Korea

Busan, South Korea

APAO Fellowship Program was launched in January 2012. It aims to help promising young ophthalmologists from developing nations to improve their clinical skills and broaden their perspectives of ophthalmology.
The first Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week was held from January 2 to 8, 2012. National members including Bangladesh and Hong Kong organized eye care activities as participation.

The first Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week was held from January 2 to 8, 2012. National members including Bangladesh and Hong Kong organized eye care activities as participation.

A sharing session on elimination of preventable blindness in Hong Kong and China hosted by Prof. Dennis Lam (second right)
Kick-off ceremony of the Free Cataract Surgery Program during the 1st Asia-Pacific Eye Care Week in Hong Kong
The premier issue of the Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology (APJO) was launched on January 23, 2012.

The APAO Executive Committee was formed in 2012.
2013
Hyderabad, India

5 subspecialty societies joined APAO.

  • Asia-Pacific Glaucoma Society (APGS)
  • Asia-Pacific Society of Ocular Oncology and Pathology (APSOOP)
  • Asia-Pacific Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (APSOPRS)
  • Asia-Pacific Strabismus and Paediatric Ophthalmology Society (APSPOS)
  • Asia-Pacific Vitreo-retina Society (APVRS)

Grand Rounds Around the World, the educational platform of APAO, was launched.
2014
Tokyo, Japan
The 29th APAO Congress was held in conjunction with World Ophthalmology Congress (WOC) 2014 in Tokyo. It had 19,651 of registrants, broke the record in 2008.

The 29th APAO Congress was held in conjunction with World Ophthalmology Congress (WOC) 2014 in Tokyo. It had 19,651 of registrants, broke the record in 2008.

Poster of the 29th APAO Congress cum WOC 2014
Representatives of APAO, International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO), Academia Ophthalmolgica Internationales (AOI), and Japanese Ophthalmological Society (JOS) honored leading ophthalmologists from around the world during the Opening Ceremony.
2015
Guangzhou, China
The headquarters of APAO Secretariat was set up at Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center (ZOC) in Guangzhou. APAO expresses its heartiest gratitude to ZOC for offering a complimentary venue as our Secretariat office.
2016
Chinese Taipei
2018
Hong Kong, China
The 1st APAO Satellite Congress was held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It was co-hosted by the Vietnam Ophthalmological Society (VOS).

The 1st APAO Satellite Congress was held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It was co-hosted by the Vietnam Ophthalmological Society (VOS).

Over 2,000 delegates attended the inaugural Satellite Congress.
Prof. Ton Thi Kim Thanh (in red shirt), President of VOS, pictured with invited speakers.
2019
Bangkok, Thailand
The 2nd APAO Satellite Congress was held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. It was co-hosted by the Mongolian Ophthalmology Society (MOS).

The 2nd APAO Satellite Congress was held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. It was co-hosted by the Mongolian Ophthalmology Society (MOS).

Over 2,000 delegates attended the inaugural Satellite Congress.
Prof. Ton Thi Kim Thanh (in red shirt), President of VOS, pictured with invited speakers.
2020