International Council of Opthalmology
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December 2017
Ico Insight : News, Resources, and Events fort he World’s Ophthalmologists

Happy New Year to Our Friends and Colleagues

The ICO Board of Trustees and staff wish you and your family a peaceful and prosperous 2018!

The ICO’s roots date back to 1857. With the support of dedicated partners, the ICO is increasing access to high quality eye care, and preserving and restoring vision. Some recent milestones: 

  • ICO membership includes 108 national societies, 7 regional societies, and 43 international subspecialty societies
  • Over 1,000 ICO Fellowships have been granted to ophthalmologists from 84 low-resource countries. 
  • More than 30,000 ophthalmologists have taken ICO Examinations at one of our 122 exam centers around the world. 
  • Nearly 2,000 program directors and faculty have participated in ICO Residency Program Directors Courses.

To learn more about what we have achieved together in our global alliance for sight, read the 2017 ICO Program Update.

Welcome New ICO Member Societies

Frank J. Martin, AM, FRANZCO, Director for Society and Leadership Development Frank J. Martin, AM, FRANZCO, Director for Society and Leadership Development

ICO Member societies connect the world's ophthalmologists, and in 2017, the ICO proudly welcomed nine new ophthalmologic societies into our global community: 

Together, the ICO’s 159 national, regional, and international subspecialty Member societies are working to ensure that everyone has the gift of sight.

See a complete list of ICO Member societies.

Call for Urgent Action to Address Diabetic Eye Disease

Every person with diabetes is at risk of going blind, and if left untreated, diabetes can have a devastating and wide ranging social and economic impact on patients, families, and communities.

At the December 2017 International Diabetes Federation Congress in Abu Dhabi, the ICO, the International Diabetes Federation, the World Council of Optometry, and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness released a Global Statement on Diabetes and Eye Heath calling for urgent action from governments, medical associations, service providers, and patient organizations to: 

  1. Integrate eye health within routine diabetes care by primary health care providers 
  2. Improve collaboration across the diabetes and eye health sectors 
  3. Foster and support patient-centered care approaches for diabetic eye health.

You can support integrative care for diabetes and bring eye health to the frontline of diabetes care by circulating this statement to practitioners, policy leaders, and lawmakers in your region. Ensure that increasingly integrated and people-centered systems are put in place, so that all people with diabetes have access to vital sight-saving services.

WOC2018 Offers 24 Hours of AMA CME!

With over 350 sessions, the scientific program of the 2018 World Ophthalmology Congress (WOC2018) offers 24 hours of American Medical Association (AMA) Continuing Medical Education (CME) opportunities.* Take full advantage; register and book your hotel now for WOC2018, 16–19 June in Barcelona, Spain.

WOC2018 Invited Program

The invited program includes 225 sessions addressing all subspecialties and related interests in ophthalmology, with 78 of these sessions organized by 45 subspecialty, 39 national, 5 regional, and 4 supranational societies:

ROP Guidelines: Protecting the Vision of Our Youngest Patients

Vietnam © Hanh Pham, Orbis International Vietnam © Hanh Pham, Orbis International

As part of a new initiative to reduce blindness in babies, the ICO is collecting existing guidelines. The taskforce, led by Prof. Clare Gilbert, will develop a consensus on how best to prevent and treat retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).

If you have ROP organizational or institutional guidelines, or reports on ROP public health programs and their outcomes, please send your material to:

The ICO Task Force on ROP will use existing guidelines to: 

  1. Outline expectations for prevention and treatment of ROP in low, medium, and high resource areas. 
  2. Incorporate the critical competencies into ICO curricula and stimulate improved training and continuing professional development to meet public needs.
  3. Develop a framework to evaluate public health approaches and stimulate, develop, strengthen, and monitor relevant health systems.

Thank you for supporting the ICO’s efforts to protect children from sight-threatening ROP. For more on ROP, read the 11 November 2017 special issue of Community Eye Health Journal.

ICO Education Sessions at the APAO Congress

Join the ICO for ICO-organized and ICO/APAO co-sponsored sessions on ophthalmic education at the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) Congress 8–11 February 2018 in Hong Kong: 

  • Are Your Graduates and Training Programs Good? Models of Accreditation and Certification 
  • Teaching Does Not Equal Learning: How Do We Know if They Have Learned? 
  • ICO Continuing Professional Development Course: Creating Learning Experiences with Impact 
  • E-learning Principles and Resources 
  • Teaching Professionalism in the Busy Clinical Practice: A Global Perspective 
  • ICO Fellowships and Exams Symposium.

Find detailed information about the 2018 APAO-ICO Sessions for Educators. The 33rd APAO Congress will be at the Hong Kong Exhibition Centre. Be sure to stop by the ICO Booth 3B03 while in the Exhibition Hall.

Review the APAO Scientific Program, and register now for this opportunity to share and gain expertise with clinicians, eye surgeons, and researchers from the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

ICO-SAFO Leadership Development Program in Dakar

The Société Africaine Francophone d'Ophtalmologie (SAFO) Leadership Development Program (LDP) for Francophone Africa presented an intensive one-day meeting on 3 December 2017, in Dakar, Senegal. Developed with the African Ophthalmology Council (AOC) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), with support from the ICO, the LDP program focused on meeting the needs of future leaders in Sub-Saharan Africa. It was held in conjunction with the 2017 SAFO Congress hosted by the Senegalese Ophthalmology Society and its President, Prof. Madoune Ndiaye.

For a second year, 22 participants represented Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Mali, Niger, and Togo. Host faculty included LDP Course Director, Prof. Patrice Komi Balo, and SAFO President, Prof. Adama Fanny. Returning faculty also included Drs. Neeru Gupta, ICO Vice-President, Michael Brennan, with the ICO Society and Leadership Development Committee and the AAO, and Annick Mwilambwe, from the Canadian Ophthalmology Society.

Adapted from the AAO model, the leadership course covered a broad spectrum of subjects, including advocacy, engagement, society strengthening, navigating challenges, and networking to achieve a common purpose.

International Summit in Human Genetics and Genomics Fellowship

Congratulations to two former ICO Three-Month Fellows who were awarded and served a 2017 International Summit in Human Genetics and Genomics One-Month Fellowship

  • Dr. Yacoub Yousef from King Hussein Eye Cancer Center in Amman, Jordan, served his ICO Fellowship in Ocular Oncology under the supervision of Dr. Paul Finger at the New York Eye Cancer Center in 2011. Dr. Yousef is now a host for the ICO/Eye Cancer Foundation Six-Month Fellowship in Retinoblastoma
  • Dr. Soma Rani Roy, from Bangladesh, spent his ICO Fellowship in Oculoplastics in 2014 at Sankara Nethralaya in Chennai, India. This was followed by an ICO Three-Month Retinoblastoma Fellowship at LV Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad, India, sponsored by the Children's Eye Cancer Foundation, Germany.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NIH/NHGRI) fellowship seeks to strengthen collaboration in genetic and genomic research and medicine and to expand this knowledge in developing nations.

Dominican Society of Ophthalmology: Raising Standards Through ICO Exams

To date, 30,000 ophthalmologists have taken an ICO Exam in 80 countries across 122 exam centers. The ICO Exams are an important part of furthering our strategic plan goals to enhance education and advance eye health. An increasing number of national societies, including those in the Dominican Republic, Chile, Jordan, India, and Yemen, now use ICO Exams in some capacity as a requisite to join their societies. Read more and watch a short video interview with leaders from The Dominican Society of Ophthalmology to hear about the advances that have been achieved by incorporating the ICO Exams into their society membership process.

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