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Press Release: Unique Kruger Park Paediatric Conference

Submitted by: Leoni Joubert


What an amazing event shared with like-minded colleagues with an interest in Paediatric Vision and a passion for learning and practicing quality optometry. Hosted in one of the most magical places on earth – Kruger Park.

Besides a varied and interesting programme presented by both local and international speakers, we also had the very first ever CPD accredited Lectured Game Drive. Wayne and Leoni (both trained Nature Guides) took delegates on an early morning Game Drive and lectured on The Evolution of Vision and how different visual systems in nature work. With views of rhinos, ellies, giraffe, warthog and WILD DOG on a kill, it was an amazing experience for all!

Other topics at the congress included:  Eye movement analysis in clinical practice, Social networking and internet use by young people, Ethical practice marketing and management, Paediatric Low Vision Rehabilitation, The 30 minute BV exam,  Electronic screens and the effects on visual system in adults and children,  Neurological changes in the dyslexic brain – new fMRI research,  Virtual reality and modern technology use in Paediatric Vision, Understanding technology based behavioural addictions in children, Not your grandfather’s myopia, Dyslexia and contrast sensitivity, Grand Rounds and advanced case presentations.

An online CPD section available to delegates also provided an extra 15 CPD points, so that by attending this one event a delegate could obtain all their required CPD for the year.

Another first in SA CPD history was an ethics presentation done in a “mock court case” format. Who knew ethics could be fun!! Starring Prof Wayne Gillan as Gerrie Nel and Leoni Joubert as the hapless optom caught in a civil law suit, the intricacies of Medical Record Keeping were demonstrated.

Finally, Paediatric Ocular Pathology was brought to life in a Game Show format where delegates used their cell phones to answer quiz questions. The top contender was Suzie Van Graan, who won a Welch Allyn Ophthalmoscope and Retinoscope Set. What fun!

Our speakers included: Prof Wayne Gillan (he’s back and he’s now a Nature Guide!); Prof Alan Rubin (the brain); Prof Bennet McAllister (our USA expert); Leoni Joubert (laugh and learn and also a Nature Guide!); Prof Solani Mathebula (super experienced lecturer); Sandra Stark (passionate about dyslexia); Marietjie Richter (UJ’s Paeds Expert); Marita Rademeyer (child psychologist and trauma councillor); Marolize Botha (bright young star).

With thirteen exhibitors from different companies who had the foresight to join in this amazing event and helped make it super special, it was a great opportunity to meet and greet and network with friends, old and new.  Plenty of lucky draw and spot prizes were handed out, and all in all, prizes to the value of R128 000 were given away over the 3 days!!

The delegates’ stylish goodie backpacks (thanks Essillor!) were filled with all sorts of lovely useful items from buffs and beanies (thanks Spectrum!) for the early morning cold game drives to travel mugs (thanks Coopervision!) so they could take their coffee along, to some wine for the bring and braai.

We had a lovely cocktail function, a huge bring and braai event, as well as Astronomy Evenings looking at the Southern Skies in one of the least polluted places on the Planet!

From Leoni

After 3 days of fun it was once again time to return to our individual lives and practices having hopefully learnt a host of new skills to enhance our optometric  abilities. Thank you to all the delegates for making the effort and having the vision to travel to this one of a kind event. Thanks to all the lecturers who presented and the companies who travelled so far and provided such amazing prizes. You all helped make this an amazing and memorable event. Certainly the highlight of my year!

Thanks to the generous donations from our delegates we managed to also raise funds for the SANPARKS Honorary Ranger rhino anti-poaching fund. 

Hope to see you at the next amazing Paeds/BV Congress!! If you missed out on this event pop me an email and I will add you to our mailing list.

Leoni Joubert
(011) 680-3400

Left to right Kevin Kesavan (Damar Optical), Phillip Winnaar (Damar Optical); Cindy Wisser (Essilor), Marais Kotze (Essilor)Angelique Mhlanga (Damar Optical )Andrew Thurston (Essilor), Krishnee Kesavan (Damar ) and Christelle Rood(Essilor ).
Marita Rademeyer (Child Psychologist), Marolize Botha (speaker) and Leoni Joubert (exhausted but happy!)
Cocktail party and networking
Heinrich Smit (Essilor), Fatima and Claude Mastromatteo
Marietjie Richter (Speaker) and Sollette Coetsee trying out some of the items from their goody bags.
Celisha Singh and Wayne Brent from Nitran
Marle Esterhuizen and Liezel Kotze from Coopervision
Andre Nel and Graham Crich from Spectrum Eyecare
“I put it to you…” Mock court case “In session”. Who knew ethics could be fun! But we learnt a lot about accurate medical record keeping…
First ever Lectured Game Drive CPD activity. Very serious lecturer! It was very cold though.
Prof Alan Rubin (speaker and also packer of goodie bags helper!)
Bring and braai catch up with old and new friends.
Delta Malele and Ian and Zoey Parker from Pictech
Prof Bennett McAllister, our amazing Low Vision expert all the way from the USA. We decided he needed an African moniker and renamed him “Prof Tau!” (Lion), a very fetching title.
The delegates playing Paediatric Ocular Pathology Quiz Kahoot game show.
And the winner is – Suzie! Rod MacKenzie from Kendon Medical and our well-deserved winner of the Paeds Ocular Path quiz Suzie Van Graan.
Two of our speakers Prof Solani Mathebula and Sandra Stark.