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The ICO collaborates with ophthalmologic organizations, governments and non-governmental organizations to increase support for eye care and prevention of vision loss worldwide.

 ICO Advocacy seeks to:

  • Position ophthalmology in a leadership role in prevention of blindness activities to help achieve the goal of the right to sight for all.
  • Provide support for the VISION 2020 global initiative specifically and for prevention of avoidable blindness and visual impairment in general.
  • Support adoption by the WHO Executive Board and the World Health Assembly of resolutions and an action plan that will stimulate increased support for eye care and prevention of vision loss.  

Advocacy Toolkits

Universal Eye Health: a global action plan 2014-2019

In May 2013, the World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted a new global action plan for prevention of avoidable blindness and visual impairment, for 2014–2019. The plan sets a global target of a 25% reduction in the prevalence of avoidable visual impairment by 2019 from the baseline of 2010. In 2010, the prevalence of visual impairment was 3.18%, meaning a 25% reduction in prevalence by 2019 would be to 2.37%. The plan is available here:

View the infographic:

View the video:

ICO's Global Call for Action to Eliminate Eye Surgical Errors

The ICO position paper calls on societies and ophthalmologists around the world to support and advocate for the elimination of human suffering from errors related to eye surgery.

Global Ban on Consumer Fireworks

Consumer fireworks are widespread and available in many countries. Unfortunately, serious eye injuries related to use of consumer fireworks occur in countries where they are not banned. Even strict regulations on the purchase and use of fireworks do not prevent the high incidence of related eye injuries and the resulting visual impairment and blindness in some patients.

The ICO endorses a global ban on consumer fireworks and encourages ICO member societies to advocate for legislation to ban consumer fireworks in their countries. The Position Paper was also endorsed by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).

Donation, Processing, Allocation, Advocacy, and Legislation Supporting Human Corneal Tissue for Ocular Transplant

The ICO, Cornea Society, and Global Alliance of Eye Bank Associations, encourage Custodians (ophthalmologists, eye banks, Ministries of Health, clinical service providers, and non-governmental advocacy groups) to promote national sustainable self-sufficient practice and policy, in relation to quality and safety, prodedure, procurement, processing, and equitable distribution of human Corneal Tissue (CT), through implementing ethical, affordable, and standardized legislation, policy, best practices and service. 

ICO Member Society Advocates:

  • Each national ophthalmologic society has a designated Advocate who works with the ICO on global initiatives to increase support for eye care.
  • The ICO provides the Advocates with information, resources, and guidance to work with national VISION 2020 Coordinating Committees, NGOs, and others to inform your national government about the importance and benefits of increasing support for eye care.
  • If you would like to know more about this, please contact

Advocacy/Vision 2020 Resources


Vision for the Future - International Ophthalmology's Strategic Plan to Preserve and Restore Vision

Designed to encourage, enhance and coordinate activities of approximately 150,000 ophthalmologists and the many additional… More »


ICO Bahrain Declaration on Trachoma and Trichiasis Surgery

With this declaration, the ICO aims to reaffirm the importance of trichiasis surgery to treat trachoma and to encourage… More »


Global Statement on Diabetes and Eye Heath

The ICO, International Diabetes Federation, World Council of Optometry, and International Agency for the Prevention of… More »


ICO Position Statement on Corneal Tissue for Ocular Transplant

The ICO, Cornea Society, and Global Alliance of Eye Bank Associations, encourage Custodians (ophthalmologists, eye banks,… More »


IAPB Standard List

The IAPB Standard List is a procurement and budgeting platform for eye health services in developing countries. It provides… More »


Diabetic Retinopathy: A Position Statement by the American Diabetes Association

Diabetic retinopathy diagnostic assessment and treatment options have improved dramatically since the 2002 American Diabetes… More »

More Advocacy/Vision 2020 Resources »

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