Optometrist Kishor Sapkota travelled from Kathmandu, Nepal to the UK this month to attend the world’s largest annual meeting dedicated to contact lenses, thanks to a new bursary from the International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE).
The IACLE Travel Award allows an educator who would not otherwise be able to attend the British Contact Lens Association’s Clinical Conference the opportunity to take part. IACLE met Kishor’s accommodation costs and the BCLA provided a free delegate package for the conference, held in Manchester from 6th to 9th June.
Kishor teaches contact lenses at Nepal Eye Hospital in the country’s capital. He has been an active member of IACLE since 2006 and successfully completed his IACLE Fellowship in 2009.
He joined 45 members from 30 countries at IACLE’s Education Day and AGM, held on 5th June at the University of Manchester to coincide with the BCLA conference. Delegates toured the optometry department and learned about the different methods of assessment used in contact lens teaching.
‘It was really amazing to get to know each other and share contact lens education and practice systems with people from other parts of the world,’ said Kishor. ‘It was also my pleasure and great achievement to share some information about contact lens practice in Nepal.
He described his participation in the BCLA conference as ‘very fruitful’, adding: ‘I will try my best to develop and strengthen contact lens education, practice and research in Nepal with the knowledge shared from this conference.’
IACLE Vice President Dr Philip Morgan commented: ‘We were delighted to welcome Kishor to Manchester and his first BCLA conference. We hope the IACLE Travel Award enabled him to learn about educational approaches used for contact lenses by colleagues around the world, and that the clinical and research updates discussed can be conveyed to Kishor’s students in the months and years ahead.
‘At the same time, it was an opportunity for IACLE members to learn of the situation in Nepal with regard to contact lens education, and we hope that colleagues from other IACLE priority countries will be able to attend this premier contact lens conference in the future’.
IACLE members played a prominent role in the BCLA speaker programme, poster sessions and company presentations. IACLE’s EAME Regional President Judith Morris delivered the prestigious BCLA Medal address. Director of Educational Programs Nilesh Thite, based in Pune, became one of the first optometrists in India to receive BCLA Fellowship.
For more information on the IACLE Travel Award, contact Bonnie Boshart at firstname.lastname@example.org.