How can eye banks and tissue donation organisations contribute to preventing avoidable blindness?
This question was addressed by tissue bank employees, doctors and scientists from over 30 countries at this year’s annual conference of the EEBA, which took place from 16 to 18 January 2020 in Herrenhausen Palace in Hannover.
16 January: Kick-off with extensive workshop and training programme
The event started with an extensive workshop and training programme.
In the evening, the conference was officially opened at the so-called Welcome Reception. Martin Börgel (managing director of the DGFG) and medical ethicist Professor Eckhard Nagel (Institute for Medical Management and Health Sciences of the University of Bayreuth) welcomed the guests. Professor Nagel also picked up on the latest decision in the German Bundestag and underlined the importance of this conference in order to exchange information about initiatives in the supply of corneal transplants beyond Europe.
A highlight on the programme of this first evening was the exhibition of the 18 submitted artworks for the Photo & Art Contest: For the first time, EEBA together with the DGFG organised a contest, which offered guests an insight into the world of corneal donation, preparation and transplantation and was intended to raise public awareness of the topic of “seeing” beyond the event. Both laymen and experts from tissue banks and member organisations of the EEBA creatively addressed this topic. Oil paintings, video slideshows, mobile, microscope images, photomontages and portraits – the artists’ perspectives are as varied as their submissions to the competition.
An international jury of six judges selected the winner of the main prize from the 18 entries. Members of the jury were: Marion Charlotte Renneberg (Medical Association of Lower Saxony), Rebecca Zimmering (Federal Center for Health Education/BZgA), Renate Kastrowsky-Kraft (Lions Governor District 111 Lower Saxony-Hannover), Simone Henzler (German Blind Relief Organisation), Aleksandra Jones (The Ophthalmologist) and Dr. Simone Hennerbichler (Austrian Red Cross)
“To be a part of Lions’ international commitment to eye health is why I’m here. I would like to inform myself about corneal donation and eye banks, which Lions also support in Germany,” says Renate Kastrowsky-Kraft, District 111 Governor of Lower Saxony/Hanover, describing her motivation to participate in the EEBA 2020 in Hannover. The district governor actively supported the conference as one of six jurors of the Photo & Art Contest.
“I find this contest very interesting. The art provides access to the topic and a discussion platform with very different people – not only experts”.