Practical Paediatric, Clinical, CL and BV Congress Feedback

Arebbusch Lodge Windhoek Namibia 5-7 July 2019

LEONI JOUBERT (M.Phil (Optom) (RAU); B.Optom; MBCO(UK); CAS (NECO_USA); CAS (BV and Paeds NECO-USA); SAALED; Cert Dyslexia (UJ))

The Paediatric Training Academy hosted another fun-filled and jam packed event in one of my favorite places on the planet, the beautiful Namibia.

This year saw us at Arebbusch Lodge in Windhoek. It was lovely to meet up with like-minded colleagues keen to gain some insight into the practical aspects of Paediatric Vision as well as contact lenses and BV. This year we also featured some hands-on workshops which proved to be very popular. With 11 speakers and presenters and 11 exhibitors we were all set for an amazing event.

The topics were nice and varied and carefully chosen to try provide practical skills and knowledge that the delegates could use in their practices. Several hands-on workshops were held including a punctal occlusion/dry eye workshop skillfully run by Dr Dirk Booysen, which of course had relevance in terms of our location in one of the driest countries! Another workshop, which was run by Marolize Botha and Hayley Datner, covered Eye tracking and looked at the latest electronic assessment techniques and analysis of results. Technology is always a good way to build your practice and Graham Chrich ran a demonstration showcasing Advanced feature use of Electronic Vision Examination systems. Leoni Joubert then ran a demonstration of Practical Paediatric examination techniques with some useful tips and tricks when examining kids. All the delegates had the opportunity to attend all the workshops and work in smaller groups which made things much more fun and interactive.















The lectures featured some interesting topics and included Leoni’s on Cyber babies and Glow Kids which highlighted the effects of electronic screen use on infant and childhood development. It is frightening to realize how much of an effect our online connected lives have on development of not just vision but also all other areas. Mardeen Tait and Prof Wayne Gillan then presented some Grand Rounds and advanced case presentations. Mardeen showed us how to do Paediatric Aphakic CL fitting as well as some success stories of Visual Therapy cases in her practice. Wayne highlighted that sometimes complicated BV problems have a simple fix and don’t need to involve great expense to make a huge difference in someone’s life.

Dr.  Dirk Booysen then showed us some common and serious contact lens complications and how to diagnose and manage them.

We had two lectures on the very relevant and current issue of Myopia. Prof Gillan and Rus Pillay discussed its causes, prevention and options on how to control its progression stemming from the latest in myopia studies.


We all know how boring ethics can be right? Wrong! Wayne and Leoni did a Mock Court case featuring Leoni as the hapless practitioner (Miss Ina Pickle) who was being sued by the father of her patient (Miss Diagnosed). Everyone learnt a ton about the ethics of medical record-keeping while having a good laugh at Wayne’s best impersonation of “Gerrie Nel – I put it to you!!”


Another really fun way to learn and also to generate some competition for a lovely prize (Vectograms donated by Danker Lenses) was the Paediatric Ocular Pathology Kahoot  Game show run by Quizmaster Marolize Botha. Some really interesting pathology was shown and the audience had great fun figuring out the conditions.

Since we were in Namibia and it is seriously dry there, Dr. Dirk Booysen also did a lecture which tied in with his workshop. It was titled: “Dry eye – are we over treating our patients?” He also offered some guidance on the latest Treatment strategies for this ever increasing condition.

Schalk Burger then delved into the complex world of Neuro optometry and made short work of explaining this extremely complex topic using real life videos. It was super interesting!

Prof Wayne Gillan did a live demonstration on Advanced Slitlamp Techniques and instruction and showed us how to see some structures that we often find difficult to see.



Dr Dirk Booysen then had a stunning interactive Slide Show presentation on Anterior Segment complications and pathology. We all learnt a ton!


Bonita Lutzka then did an amazing presentation on Prosthetic CL for children and adults showing actual cases and how one should go about trying to help these seemingly difficult patients. She is a true artist and her skill and passion were amazing to witness.


Some more ethics in the form of Ethical practice marketing and management and how to set up your practice for excellence was presented by Graham Chrich and Craig Till. They are always a treat to watch and learn from.


Of course, as per my usual Paeds congresses plenty of Lucky Draw and spot prizes were handed out. At the end of the event we calculated that we handed out R102 000 worth of prizes!!

We had our selected exhibitors taking part. Rus Pillay and Ryk Van Rooyen flew the Essilor flag high and Essilor was the main sponsors of the event. With goodie bags filled with all sorts of lovely gifts the delegated were really spoilt. Hayley from Danker was there with all their stunning Paeds and BV equipment. Genop Instruments had some cool high tech gadgets and also helped by providing the amazing video slitlamp systems for the Punctal Occlusion and Slitlamp Demonstration. Graham and Jacques from Spectrum had a massive lucky draw of a whole Spectrum testing unit worth about R15 000! Coopervision has been so supportive of all the Paeds Academy congresses and this year they also sponsored the Friday Evening Cocktail Party and Jeanette did an awesome lucky draw of a voucher for several boxes of Biofinity CL. Craig from Spectill and his wife attended and had some lovely optical accessories on display and he also did 5 lucky draw prizes for us. Rod Mackenzie from Kendon Medical displayed some lovely equipment including the fabulous Welch-Allyn Spot Autorefractor which works well with kids. Rod kindly donated a Welch-Allyn Pocket ophthalmoscope set as a lucky draw prize. SDM optical had their amazing range of frames there and a lucky delegate won a stunning Guess Sunglass and Optical frame combo. Myoptics have some amazing kiddies frames and they gave away a voucher for some frames. Stepper Optical were first time exhibitors at a Paeds Congress and they showcased some lovely frames and were kind enough to also offer 10 frames as a lucky draw prize.  Bonita and Mike from the Contact Lens Lab were also first time Paeds Congress exhibitors and they showcased some of their amazing specialised contact lenses. For a lucky draw they not only graciously gave 5 Paediatric Aphakic CL fit sets away but also a Scleral Lens Fitting set!

Dr Dirk Booysen was also kind enough to donate one of his books as a prize in a quick quiz.

Some suppliers could not attend but kindly donated prizes for our lucky draw: Damar really made a lovely contribution of 50 kiddie sunglass frames as a prize for the delegates. Nitran gave a Woolies voucher and Helia Trading gave a frame voucher. Allergan and OTL gave some lovely goodies to add to the delegates’ bags. A very big thank you to the exhibitors and suppliers for all their support!

Of course the Namibians are known for their legendary party spirit and this weekend did not disappoint! Friday night was Cocktail Party time and this was kindly sponsored by Coopervision. Lovely snacks and drinks were provided and of course the opportunity to spend time catching up with old friends. We all had a “lekker kuier” until late into the night! I didn’t even expect anyone to show up before 10am the next day for lectures and yet we had a super keen bunch ready to go at 8am!

The feedback has been wonderful, we all had such fun catching up with friends from far and wide, learning some new info to get us enthused about practicing optometry and of course “kuier-ing” as only the Namibians know how! One thing is for sure: WE WILL BE BACK!






















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