2022: Supporting ASOPRS’ International Symposium on Wartime Ophthalmic Trauma

Organised by the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

The SOA is proud to provide partnership support of the first on-line International Symposium on Wartime Ophthalmic Trauma, organised by ASOPRS. The meeting is on May 7, 2022, with costs generously covered by ASOPRS. It will be a 2-hour session starting at 5pm CEST (8am PST / 4pm BST / 5pm CEST / IST 2030). The registration link is HERE and we encourage all our members to sign on.

The conflict in Ukraine has led to a humanitarian catastrophe, with over 5 million displaced persons, and an untold number of injured civilians and service personnel. Our ophthalmic colleagues in the country are operating with reduced, degraded, and damaged resources, and are facing a major medical challenge.

A range of medical NGOs across Europe have responded with practical initiatives. These include ESCRS (in Europe) which has set up storage facilities in Krakow with a forward distribution site in Lviv, and a network of Ukrainian surgeons to ensure delivery of much-needed equipment.

This network of ophthalmologists, with ESCRS’ coopted storage and distribution facilities, is an efficient mechanism for delivery of equipment and consumables. ESCRS is generously covering the administrative and storage costs, and is also looking at purchasing drugs for widespread distribution through Ukraine.

At an individual level, SOA members are also urged to approach their regional suppliers of ophthalmic consumables to solicit donations to this initiative (via their European outlets). The list of required items, updated periodically, is available from ESCRS’ head office to Members HERE. Please contact your suppliers and liaise with ESCRS directly – every consignment helps, and is coordinated with colleagues in Ukraine.

At the international level, there is currently no ‘database’ of involved parties, and no dedicated forum for physicians to interact, and this risks duplication of effort, and lack of clarity regar­­ding aid efforts. To this end, the ophthalmic community is establishing an ‘OculoFacial Network’ to identify participating organisations and to channel funds and communicate equipment needs more effectively. The Network will channel support into ESCRS’ initiative, and, via a secure portal to members, will also contain details of on-line meetings and advice forums — this bringing relevant information under one ‘digital roof’.