Press Release: SAOA teams up with Brien Holden Vision Institute to support 10GA

SAOA logo

The South African Optometric Association (SAOA) will work with the Brien Holden Vision Institute and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) to bring the 10th General Assembly (10GA) to South African optometrists.The IAPB 10th General Assembly—the premier, global eye care event will be held in Durban, South Africa between 27 and 30 October 2016.

The 10GA will host a variety of sessions–including offering CPD courses–for South African optometrists (CPD points will be awarded by the University of KwaZulu-Natal). Courses include those on ethics and ocular therapeutics, managing diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and more (please see the full programme online for more detail). 10GA will also include 12 full accredited courses approved by the General Optical Council for UK CET as well.

SAOA has also offered to help promote 10GA to their members online and at ‘Eye Focus Africa’, their hugely popular event in Johannesburg, in September 2016.

The 10GA is a great opportunity to bring together the best of optometric practice and care in South Africa, with their counterparts and colleagues from across the world. With an expected 1200 delegates, 10GA is quickly becoming a confluence of eye care opportunties and solutions –and a ‘must-attend’ for optometrists in South Africa and neighbouring countries. With an international audience and delegates from more than 60 countries, South African optometry can showcase their best work, and exchange success stories with peers from around the world.

“The 10th General Assembly is going to live up to its theme: ‘Stronger Together’”, notes Joanna Conlon, Director of Development and Communications. “Many international eye care professionals coming in to Durban will definitely be excited to share and learn from South African eye care professionals. SAOA, IAPB and the Institute are the only ones who can make this possible.”

“We are very excited to be a part of this global event”, says Patrick Mawila, President of the South African Optometry Association. “It is a great opportunity to showcase our successes and to share results and best practices with some of the best optometrists and other eye care professionals in the world. I would encourage all South African optometrists to make the most of this event.”

“The Brien Holden Vision Institute has always been a portal for exchange and learning among optometry groups around the world”, said Kovin Naidoo, CEO, Brien Holden Vision Institute. “The 10GA is another opportunity to do what we do best—bring together the best people in eye care and ensure that the outcomes reach those most in need, in every corner of the world.”

For more information do visit:

Notes to Editors:

About IAPB
The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) is the coordinating membership organisation leading international efforts in blindness prevention activities. IAPB’s mission is to eliminate the main causes of avoidable blindness and visual impairment by bringing together governments and non-governmental agencies to facilitate the planning, development and implementation of sustainable national eye care programmes. Please visit:

About the South African Optometry Association

The South African Optometric Association is a professional association representing optometrists and dispensing opticians across all forms of practice modalities in both the private and public sectors. The main objective of the SAOA is to accommodate the interests of optometrists and dispensing opticians as well as the general public in South Africa. Please visit:

 About the Brien Holden Vision Institute

The Institute’s core business is creating new ways to improve vision outcomes for people whose sight is affected by refractive error. Building sustainable eye care systems through service development, education, training activities and related research in developing communities worldwide. At the Brien Holden Vision Institute, Public Health there are four key pillars of our organisation – human resource development, service development, research and social enterprise. For more information, please visit:

The 10th General Assembly (10GA)

10GA Programme Partners

Brien Holden Vision Institute

We believe sight is a fundamental right for all humans. Our mission is to create and deliver effective and innovative solutions for vision care and blindness prevention for all. Our passion for science and innovation is driven by the pursuit of knowledge and compassion for all humanity. We achieve through collaboration.


Orbis brings the world together to fight blindness as no one should go blind from conditions that are treatable, curable or preventable. For over 30 years Orbis has helped developing nations build the skills, knowledge and resources they need to prevent blindness and provide eye care for all their people.


CBM is an international Christian development organisation committed to improving the quality of life of people with disabilities in the poorest communities of the world. CBM addresses poverty as a cause and a consequence of disability, and works in partnership to create an inclusive society for all.

Mectizan Donation Program (MDP)

Established 25 years ago, the Mectizan Donation Program (MDP) is the longest-running, disease-specific, drug donation program and public/private partnership of its kind. To date, approximately 2.32 billion treatments have been approved for oncho and LF. MDP’s success is largely due to the partnerships that have evolved in support of both disease elimination initiatives.

Global Facts

  • About 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide: 39 million are blind and 246 million have low vision (severe or moderate visual impairment)
  • preventable cause are as high as 80% of the total global visual impairment burden
  • About 90% of the world’s visually impaired people live in developing countries
  • Globally, uncorrected refractive errors are the main cause of visual impairment
  • Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness

Media contact:

Tejah Balantrapu, Communications Manager, Phone: +91 40 44334160