British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) Conference Held In UK

Global educators were honoured at what can be called the world’s largest annual contact lens meeting

(L-R) Dr Juan Carlos Aragón, Wang Ling, Dr Eef van der Worp, Dr Rajeswari Mahadevan, Andy Yorke, Dr Sergio Garcia and Dr Shehzad Naroo

(L-R) Dr Juan Carlos Aragón, Wang Ling, Dr Eef van der Worp, Dr Rajeswari Mahadevan, Andy Yorke, Dr Sergio Garcia and Dr Shehzad Naroo

The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) Clinical Conference & Exhibition was held from 6th to 9th June, 2014 in Birmingham, UK. A prominent role was played by the International Association of Contact Lens Educators.

The conference marked the launch of the first IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year awards to recognise and reward achievements in contact lens education worldwide. The programme also included the first IACLE International Session where researchers from the Netherlands, India, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Greece and Italy presented their work.

Three IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year awards were presented – one for each of IACLE’s global regions. The awards were supported by the BCLA and sponsored by CooperVision. Certificates were handed over by outgoing BCLA president Andy Yorke and Dr Juan Carlos Aragón – Senior Vice President, Global Professional and Clinical Affairs at CooperVision. This year’s recipients were:

  • Asia-Pacific Region: Dr Rajeswari Mahadevan – Sankara Nethralaya Medical Research Foundation, Chennai, India
  • American Region: Dr Sergio Garcia of University – La Salle, Bogotá and the University Santo Tomás, Bucaramanga, Colombia
  • European Region: Dr Eef van der Worp, affiliated with the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands

Dr van der Worp thanked IACLE for the award, which he said was an ‘enormous honour’. According to him, “I would actually need to honour IACLE with an award for its outstanding work – not the reverse! Networks exist for clinicians, and for researchers. But for educators – there isn’t much to fall back on. IACLE has always offered me great support as an educator.”

The IACLE Travel Award, supported by BCLA, went to Mr Wang Ling of the Jinling Institute of Technology, Nanjing, China.

Other highlights of the conference for IACLE include the following:

  • Vice President Professor Philip Morgan was awarded the prestigious BCLA Medal
  • President Dr Shehzad Naroo was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the BCLA in recognition of outstanding contributions to the association
  • IACLE members and FIACLEs among those receiving BCLA Fellowship were: Dr Rajeswari Mahadevan (India), Prasad Sawant (India), Dr Ali Masmali (Saudi Arabia), Dr Raquel Gil Cazorla (Spain), Professor Lyndon Jones (Canada), Caroline Christie (UK), and Robert Conway (UK)
  • Delegates from 51 countries attended the BCLA 2014 conference. IACLE’s Education Day and Annual General Meeting – held at Aston University in Birmingham on 5th June to coincide with the conference – attracted more than 40 delegates. The lectures and workshops was jointly organised by the British Universities Committee of Contact Lens Educators (BUCCLE).
  • Next year, IACLE will hold the third IACLE World Congress on ‘Contact Lens Education’ in Manchester, UK from 23rd to 27th May 2015.
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