Bayer Collaborates with Singapore National Eye Centre to Facilitate Professional Development Among Ophthalmologists Across Asia

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Age-related macular degeneration Credit: Wikimedia commons
Age-related macular degeneration Credit: Wikimedia commons

This weekend, Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) and Bayer will kick start the Asia-Pacific Preceptorship Exchange Programme (APEX), a two-day curriculum to facilitate engagement and sharing of knowledge and best practices among ophthalmologists in the management of retinal (eye) diseases.

80 ophthalmologists from Singapore, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong SAR will be taking part in interactive lectures and case discussions over two days at SNEC on the management of retinal diseases. The topics covered by the programme will include diabetic retinopathy (DR) screening and the management of diabetic macular edema (DME) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which are among leading causes of blindness in Singapore and Asia.

This year, APEX also incorporates keynote lectures on Anti-VEGF in the management of polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV), a subtype of wet AMD prevalent in Asians and on the latest diagnostic imaging techniques for DR by the renowned Professor Yuichiro Ogura, Chairman of Department of Ophthalmology at Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, a medical authority on Ophthalmology. The programme also includes tours of SNEC facilities (e.g. retina centre), Diabetic Metabolic Centre, Singapore Eye Research Institute and the Reading Centre for Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Programme.

In Asia Pacific, DME and AMD are on the rise because of diabetes and the ageing population. The prevalence of DME was 4 million persons in 2010 and this is expected to more than double to 9 million persons in 2040. Likewise, the prevalence of wet AMD (an advanced type of AMD) was 7 million persons in 2010 and this is estimated to soar to 17 million in 2040.

“We are delighted SNEC is taking the lead to aid professional development of ophthalmologists in the region,” said Claus Zieler, Senior Vice President and Head of Commercial Operations, Bayer Pharmaceuticals Division Asia Pacific. “We see APEX as a core element of our investment in the retinal disease community and we look forward to work closely with SNEC, an established retinal centre in the region, to facilitate the knowledge exchange among ophthalmologists in the management of eye diseases.”

The collaboration between SNEC and Bayer is in its second year and reaffirms the public-private partnership to aid the professional development of ophthalmologists in the region.

About Diabetic Macular Edema

Diabetic macular edema (DME) and diabetic retinopathy (DR) are common microvascular complications in people with diabetes. DR is a disease affecting the blood vessels of the retina. DME occurs when fluid leaks into the center of the macula, the light-sensitive part of the retina responsible for sharp, direct vision. Fluid in the macula can cause severe vision loss or blindness. DME is the most frequent cause of blindness in the working age population2. As the incidence of diabetes has been steadily climbing, it is projected that the number of people impacted by DME will also grow.

About Singapore National Eye Centre

Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) was incorporated in 1989 and commenced operations in 1990. It is the designated national centre within the public sector healthcare network, and spearheads and coordinates the provision of specialised ophthalmological services with emphasis on quality education and research. Since its opening in 1990, SNEC has achieved rapid growth and currently manages an annual workload of 300,000 outpatient visits, 35,000 major eye surgeries and laser procedures.

Bayer: Science For A Better Life

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power.