World Ophthalmic Congress 2008: East meets West in 'Asia's World City'

The World Ophthalmology Congress will be held in "Asia's World City", Hong Kong, for a meeting that will encompass cross-cultural idea exchange and knowledge offered by some of the top ophthalmology organizations.

The congress will be held in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, voted "Best Convention and Exhibition Centre in Asia Pacific" in the 2007 Reader's Choice Awards' survey, conducted by CEI Asia Pacific magazine. According to the WOC, the center can accommodate at least 19 sessions and 10,000 people at a time. It features state-of-the-art facilities and technologies to house both the scientific programs as well as the industrial exhibits. The center is linked to several hotels and is easily accessible to public transportation as well as shopping and entertainment.

Stage set for idea exchange

"In this dynamic city, you can experience the unique blend of East and West and enjoy the distinctive shopping and culinary delights," he said.

Dr. Lam said the organizing committee has worked hard to assemble a quality program with an array of world-renowned speakers.

"We sincerely hope that this meeting will let participants immerse themselves in plenty of idea exchange and knowledge-sharing opportunities and network with people in the field to facilitate collaborations. These will result in improved treatments and in turn benefit millions of individuals suffering from eye diseases," his letter said.

Donald Tsang, chief executive of Hong Kong, will officiate the opening of the congress on Sunday at 11 a.m. The gala dinner will be held that night in the grand hall of the convention center, which overlooks Victoria Harbour. The WOC promises that the event will feature a variety of Chinese and Western cuisine in a warm, relaxing atmosphere, where delegates can mingle and network while enjoying Asian-themed entertainment.

The scientific program will include more than 1,500 speakers who will participate in more than 250 scientific sessions. The event also will include more than 2,000 posters in English; 1,600 posters in Chinese will be displayed concurrently. Topics include AIDS, cataract, complementary and alternative medicine, contact lenses, corneal and external eye diseases, evidence-based eye care, eye banking, eye trauma and emergencies, glaucoma, immunology, low vision, neuro-ophthalmology, oculoplastics, oncology, ophthalmic epidemiology, pathology, pediatric ophthalmology, refractive surgery, retina, pharmacology and ocular drug delivery, scleritis, strabismus, teleophthalmology, and uveitis.

Symposia highlights

The WOC 2008 Subspecialty Day Program, set for Saturday, will feature three concurrent sessions: cataract and refractive surgery, glaucoma, and retina. Several scientific sessions also will be held Saturday.

Each day Sunday through Wednesday will start with a breakfast symposium, followed by the first session of the day and live surgery. A tea and coffee break will occur at 10:30 a.m., followed by more sessions and then a 2-hour lunch session each day. Third sessions will follow; then, after another tea and coffee break at 3:30 p.m., fourth sessions with named lectures will occur. Evening symposia will begin at 5:45 p.m.

Afterward, Saturday night will feature a reception for all delegates, Sunday will have the gala dinner, and Monday night will include a reception for speakers.

The exhibit hall will feature exhibitors from 123 companies from 17 countries. Visit Ophthalmology Times at Booth P06.

For more information, visit the WOC's Web site at http://www.woc2008hongkong.org/.

The next WOC will be held June 5 to 9, 2010, in Berlin ( http://www.woc2010.de/). That congress will be a combined meeting of the XXXII International Congress of Ophthalmology, the 108th DOG Congress (German Society of Ophthalmology), and AAD Congress 2010 (German Academy of Ophthalmology), in conjunction with meetings of the European Society of Ophthalmology, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the German Ocular Surgeons.

Getting to know Hong Kong

According to the Hong Kong Tourism Board:

• English is widely spoken in Hong Kong. Most staff in hotels, restaurants, and even taxis speak the language well.

• Hong Kong is compact, so visitors are never too far from shopping and major sights. Hong Kong also has an excellent transportation system so visitors can easily reach other areas, no matter where they stay. Most hotels are located in the heart of the city, in Central, Wan Chai, and Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island and in Tsim Sha Tsui and Tsim Sha Tsui East in Kowloon.

• Public transportation via bus, ferry, or train is efficient, relatively inexpensive, and user-friendly. The system includes signs in English and Chinese.

• Bring summer clothes. The average daily high in June: 86° F (July: 88° F). Average daily low in June and July: 79° F.