International Council of Opthalmology
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February 2018
Ico Insight : News, Resources, and Events fort he World’s Ophthalmologists

In Remembrance: Dr. Benjamin Boyd

Dr. Benjamin F. Boyd Dr. Benjamin F. Boyd

The ICO is greatly saddened by the loss of Honorary Life Member Dr. Benjamin Boyd, who passed away at his home on 5 February 2018.

“I was delighted when I first met Ben and came to learn about his good humor and compassion,” says ICO President Prof. Hugh Taylor. “His presence, good judgment, and clarity have been missed in the recent years when he could no longer attend ICO Board meetings.”

Dr. Boyd joined the ICO in 1978 and received the International Duke Elder Medal in 1990. He served as Executive Director of the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology (PAAO) from 1960–1985 and was its President from 1985–1987. The PAAO’s Benjamin F. Boyd Humanitarian Award was created in 1987 to honor those who have substantially served the Americas to preserve and restore vision.

Dr. Boyd was a member of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis and a gifted editor. His publications include: The Definite History of the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology (1940-2001); Highlights of Ophthalmology 1962 (digitized in 2001); and Witness to History, 2009.

"This dear friend and giant leader in ophthalmology was unique in his commitment and capacity to lead and bring positive change. His legion of friends will grieve his passing," says ICO Past-President Dr. Bruce Spivey.

Now Online: WOC2018 Invited Scientific Program

View the Invited Scientific Program for the 16–19 June 2018 World Ophthalmology Congress® (WOC) in Barcelona, Spain. With more than 350 scientific sessions to choose from, WOC2018 offers a vast array of opportunities to learn the latest advances in ophthalmology.

Over 2,500 ophthalmologists, subspecialists, and medical professionals will present educational sessions across 25 subspecialties and related topics at WOC2018.

Find sessions, topics, speakers, dates, times, and locations at: For more information, view the Invited Program pdf.

WOC2018 “Late-Breaking News” Abstracts Accepted 15–29 March

“Late-Breaking News” abstracts for the World Ophthalmology Congress® (WOC) will be accepted 15–29 March 2018.

“Late-Breaking News” abstracts highlight results from rapidly advancing investigations that may have only recently become available. Submissions should present novel and substantive studies of high impact that will further enrich the 16–19 June WOC2018 in Barcelona, Spain.

Find the “Late-Breaking News” abstract submission form in the Submitted Program section of the WOC2018 website, and email your completed form to: Submissions received before 15 March or after 29 March will not be considered. Authors will be notified about the status of their abstract by 26 April 2018.

“Late-Breaking News” abstracts are not a second deadline for regular abstract submissions, and revisions to previously rejected abstracts will not be considered. 


Cataract Surgery and Its Impact on Environmental Sustainability

The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) Environmental Sustainability Work Group is tackling issues related to the degradation of the environment and its impact on health and safety, and the group will offer a “Masterclass in Environmental Sustainability” at the 2018 World Ophthalmology Congress® in Barcelona, Spain.

Surgical systems in most developed countries––in particular, their use of materials––are unsustainable, finds Dr. Cassandra Thiel and her IAPB Work Group co-authors in their article, “Cataract surgery and environmental sustainability: Waste and lifecycle assessment of phacoemulsification at a private healthcare facility,” published in the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.

The article’s results show that ophthalmologists can reduce emissions and materials use by following the model of the Aravind Eye Care System in southern India––a recognized resource-efficient setting.

Campaign Addresses the Global Eye Needs of Children

To accelerate and expand access to eye health services for children, the Brien Holden Vision Institute launched the Our Children’s Vision initiative, a call to action.

Amassing over 70 partners in approximately 60 countries since its 2016 start, the campaign reached more than 10 million children in its first year alone. The initiative aspires to provide eye care to 50 million children globally by 2020.

Our Children’s Vision addresses the worldwide impact of conditions like myopia and other refractive errors, and is focused on influencing national policy to ensure development of a long-term sustainable solution to children’s eye health. The initiative is working toward improved services, awareness, research, and advocacy through strong partnerships with organizations, governments, and societies, including the International Council of Ophthalmology. Find out more.

Educators Stay Connected and Informed

The ICO is committed to improving the quality of ophthalmic training. In support of this goal, the ICO offers educators resources and tools to stay abreast of new information. 

  • The Center for Ophthalmic Educators is a key component of the ICO’s educator program, offering an array of educational tools for teachers of residents, medical students, subspecialty fellows, practicing ophthalmologists, and allied ophthalmic personnel. Educators can also share ideas and collaborate with peers through the Center’s discussion forums. 
  • The monthly Ophthalmic Educators Letter highlights valuable resources and tools, courses, upcoming events for teachers, and other relevant news. Sign up for the Ophthalmic Educators Letter
  • The ICO Ophthalmic Educators Group (ICO-OEG) provides a platform for collaboration, networking, and professional development for everyone interested in ophthalmic education.

ICO Member Societies: A Global Network in Francophone Africa

Further connecting the world’s ophthalmologists, the ICO proudly welcomes the Société Africaine Francophone d'Ophtalmologie (SAFO) and eight other societies from Sub-Saharan Africa as ICO Member societies.

SAFO was created at a 1992 meeting in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, by ophthalmologists from French-speaking countries of West Africa. Under the SAFO regional umbrella, the following national societies have also joined the ICO alliance for sight: 

  • Benin Society of Ophthalmology (SBO) 
  • Burkina Faso Society of Ophthalmology (BSO) 
  • Gabon Society of Ophthalmology (SGO) 
  • Ivory Coast Society of Ophthalmology (SIO) 
  • Mali Society of Ophthalmology (SOMAO) 
  • Niger Society of Ophthalmology (SNO) 
  • Senegal Society of Ophthalmology (SSO) 
  • Togo Society of Ophthalmology (STO)

Ressources pour les enseignants
For ophthalmologists and educators in Francophone Africa and elsewhere, the ICO offers numerous resources translated into French, including: 

Submit Your Papers for WHO World Report on Vision by 15 March

The Bulletin of the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for papers for an upcoming theme issue on vision. The deadline for submission is 15 March 2018.

WHO’s World Report on Vision will focus on “what works” and provide authoritative evidence on the magnitude of global vision loss, as well as its prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation. Submitted papers should: 

  • Provide evidence across all health strategies (eg, promotion, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation) 
  • Focus on best practices, innovation, and the use of technology 
  • Identify gaps and provide solutions to ensure equitable access 
  • Integrate examples from low- and middle-income countries and different age groups 
  • Address health system issues, rather than focusing solely on one specific disease or condition.

Get more information about the World Report on Vision.

ICO Exams and Fellowships

Dr. Luis Amaya<br> ICO Examinations Committee Member and<br> Clinical Sciences Exam Section Leader Dr. Luis Amaya
ICO Examinations Committee Member and
Clinical Sciences Exam Section Leader

More than 30,000 ophthalmologists have taken 52,000 ICO Examinations at over 120 exam centers worldwide, and more than 1,000 ICO Fellowships have been granted to ophthalmologists from low-resource countries.

Watch this short video featuring Dr. Luis Amaya, ICO Examinations Committee Member and Clinical Sciences Exam Section Leader, and learn how the ICO's Exams and Fellowships are serving to improve eye care around the world.

The 31 March application deadline for three-month and six-month ICO Fellowships is fast approaching. The next opportunity to apply for three-month and six-month fellowships, as well as one-year fellowships, will be 30 September 2018. Apply now.

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