International Council of Opthalmology
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December 2016
Ico Insight : News, Resources, and Events fort he World’s Ophthalmologists

Message from Prof. Hugh Taylor, ICO President

With the valued commitment of outstanding ophthalmologist volunteers, ICO Member societies, and collaborating eye health organizations, the ICO is making some significant advances in strengthening ophthalmology and the provision of eye care.

To learn more about these achievements, I invite you to read the 2016 ICO Program Update, which details the advancements the ICO made this year.

The ICO Board of Trustees and the staff join me in wishing our worldwide family of colleagues a peaceful and prosperous 2017, and we thank you for working with us to create a global alliance for sight.

ICO Global Call for Action to Eliminate Surgical Errors

Patient safety is a high priority for the World Health Organization and all of us, and we ask that you support, share, and promote the ICO’s Global Call for Action to Eliminate Surgical Eye Errors.

The document recommends adherence to standard protocols and procedures by integration of safety promotion systems that involve the entire surgical team, and that include preoperative verification, site marking, and a surgical pause as essential parts of a standard checklist.

Together, we can raise awareness of patient safety and have a strong and positive impact on eye health internationally.

ICO Educational Sessions and More at IAPB 10th General Assembly

The ICO Guidelines for Glaucoma and the 2017 ICO Guidelines for Diabetic Eye Care were received with great enthusiasm at ICO-involved education sessions at the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) 10th General Assembly (10GA) in October in Durban, South Africa.

The IAPB 10GA was co-sponsored by the ICO. For additional news about the IAPB 10GA:

  • Official Speech of ICO Ambassador Vision 2020
    Kgalema Motlanthe, ICO Ambassador of VISION 2020 in Sub-Saharan Africa and former President of South Africa, spoke at the IAPB 10GA about the nearly 20 million visually impaired people in Africa. He articulated the continuing and emerging visual conditions that are contributing to loss of sight in the region and steps for effective blindness prevention programs.
  • L’OCCITANE Rewards Innovative Solutions and Breakthroughs
    To support research against avoidable blindness and to improve eye care in developing countries, L'OCCITANE Foundation presented two grants of €50,000 each at the 10GA:
  • Dr. Zareen Khair received the first Sight Award for Innovation. Noting a gender gap in vision care, Dr. Khair partnered with women’s health and rights organizations to improve sight for 135,000 women and children in rural Bangladesh.
  • Dr. Wondu Alemayehu received a Sight Award in recognition of his research on potential behavioral and environmental determinants in the prevalence of trachoma in Ethiopia.
  • Launch of Eye Health Vision Atlas
    The IAPB Vision Atlas was launched at the 10GA. This important and in-depth resource brings together the latest data and evidence related to avoidable blindness and sight loss. Go to:


Valuable Resources for Advocacy

The resources below provide beneficial information about the public health significance of visual impairment.

  • Eyeglasses for Global Development––Bridging the Visual Divide
    The ICO is proud to be a founding member of EYElliance. This new multi-stakeholder coalition addresses the urgent need for national governments, the private sector, and development partners to substantially increase investment in providing eyeglasses to improve educational outcomes, increase productivity, and stimulate the global economy.

    The EYElliance secretariat and its members work across sectors to address the systemic barriers to increase access to, and adoption of, eyeglasses. Find the report at:

  • The Lancet: Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors
    The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2015 provides an up-to-date synthesis of the evidence for risk factor exposure and the attributable burden of disease. By providing national and subnational assessments spanning the past 25 years, this study can inform debates on the importance of addressing risks in context.

    The publication is a remarkable achievement representing the combined work of thousands of researchers. The related papers (Vol. 388, No. 10053, published October 8, 2016) are open-access and can be downloaded here:

    Discussion about this study and its public health significance can be found on the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation website:

WOC2016 Video: Dealing with the Unexpected

This month’s WOC2016 “Best of’” Video and related abstract offer an interesting approach to a difficult case. Dr. Karla VanDick-Sanchez and co-authors’ presentation explores “Dealing with the Unexpected; Management of Congenital Cataract with Phacoemulsification in a Patient with Persistent Hyaloid Artery.”

To see all the videos and posters from the 2016 World Ophthalmology Congress® (WOC) in Guadalajara, Mexico, go to:

Do you have an interesting approach to a clinical challenge? Let your colleagues know by submitting a poster or video for the 2018 World Ophthalmology Congress June 16–19 in Barcelona, Spain. Abstract submission opens August 2017.

Welcome New ICO Member Societies

Frank Martin, AM, FRANZCO<br>ICO Director for Society and Leadership Development</br> Frank Martin, AM, FRANZCO
ICO Director for Society and Leadership Development

The ICO, composed of over 145 national and subspecialty member societies, welcomed seven new societies into the ICO family in 2016: 

  • Asia Pacific Strabismus & Pediatric Ophthalmology Society
  • Asia Pediatric Ophthalmology Association
  • Cambodian Ophthalmology Society
  • Global Alliance of Eye Bank Associations Fr
  • International Society for Genetic Eye Diseases & Retinoblastoma
  • Iraqi Ophthalmology Society
  • Refractive Surgery Alliance.

In addition to working together to eradicate avoidable blindness, being an ICO Member means that your society members receive reduced rates when taking the ICO Examinations and when registering for the World Ophthalmology Congress®––and increased advantage when applying for ICO Fellowships. ICO Member subspecialty societies are also invited to organize a scientific program at the World Ophthalmology Congress®.

Learn about all the benefits of ICO Membership at:

ICOFoundation Increasing Access to Eye Care Where it is Needed Most

The ICO Fellowships Program, the ICO Examinations, the ICO Teaching the Teachers Initiative, and the Magrabi-ICO Cameroon Eye Institute (MICEI) are just some of the ICO initiatives that focus on enhancing ophthalmic education and eye care delivery to preserve and restore vision worldwide. Donors from around the world help make these programs possible by contributing to the ICOFoundation.

Whether you donate to a specific ICO initiative, or designate your gift to be directed where it is needed most, your contribution will help bring the ICO’s educational programs to lower resource regions that might not otherwise have access to such training. Contribute to the ICOFoundation (tax-deductible in the United States) by:

Thank you for your support. Together we are building a world alliance for sight.

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