The following blog is written by Dr Mattan Arazi, Opthalmology resident at Sheba Medical Center, Israel.
Mombasa, a port city and second largest city in Kenya, with a population of over 1.3 million people. A city situated right off the coast looking over the Indian Ocean. A place known to the locals as the as “the white and blue city” with diverse beaches, cultural activity and flourishing tourism. A perfect city to hold the first major International Society of Ocular Oncology (ISOO) conference in Africa, wouldn’t you say?
From August 21-23, 2023, ISOO Africa will bring together experts from all over the world to Mombasa, in order to discuss the most pressing topics in the field of eye tumors facing the African Continent.
ISOO is a non-profit organization that aims at advancing and promoting ocular oncology across the world. Back in the 1970’s and 1980’s, there were few ocular oncologists worldwide. Most patients with an eye tumor were managed by general eye doctors or other specialists. At that time, education for ocular oncology was limited to a few paper or poster presentations. Nowadays, the ISOO mission is to promote the advancement of ocular oncology by encouraging research, international collaboration, and, above all, education.
Africa presents unique challenges in the field of ocular oncology; this inaugural event will have an exciting program with distinguished speakers both from the region and the rest of the world. These topics will be discussed in detail with lectures from international and regional speakers, case study presentations, and oral presentations from abstract submissions.
In this region ocular melanoma is considered somewhat rare, but Retinoblastoma continues to haunt the African continent – while a highly curable malignancy if treated early, most babies across the region due not survive due to poor education, financial constraints, a lack of specialists, and poor access to care.
A little over two months from now, I will become well acquainted with this “white and blue city,” as I prepare myself for this inaugural and diversified event.
Stay tuned for further updates to this blog.