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

Save Money by Registering Now for WOC2018

Register Now for the 36th World Ophthalmology Congress® (WOC2018) of the International Council of Ophthalmology before prices increase after 23 May.

Learn and interact with ophthalmologists from more than 130 countries, and participate in a Scientific Program of over 350 sessions at the Fira Gran Via Convention Center 16–19 June in Barcelona, Spain.

Revenues from the WOC help support ICO initiatives and programs that enhance ophthalmic education and preserve and restore vision for the people of the world.

Strengthen Skills Today and Look Toward Tomorrow at WOC2018

In addition to offering a vast array of the latest clinical topics––WOC2018 also focuses on subjects that carry major implications for ophthalmology’s future. As two examples: 

  • The inaugural Robert Ritch Forum on Medicine of the Future, Sunday, 17 June from 10:30 to 12:00, explores nanotechnology, tissue bioengineering, and artificial intelligence––increasingly significant areas impacting our lives now and twenty years from now. Watch a three-minute video of Dr. Ritch discussing the forum's program in more detail. 
  • Diabetes and Eye Health––a special symposium organized by the ICO––will discuss integrated care for diabetes and eye health. The symposium builds upon the ICO, the World Council of Optometry, the International Diabetes Federation, and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness Global Statement on Diabetes and Eye Heath calling for urgent action so everyone with diabetes has access to sight-saving services.

Find all WOC2018 sessions on diabetes at; search word “diabetes.”

Emerging International Leaders and Young Ophthalmologists are the Pacesetters of Tomorrow

Emerging International Leaders (EILs) and Young Ophthalmologists (YOs) are at the forefront of a long and exciting professional life, and WOC2018 offers numerous opportunities to meet and socialize with newfound EIL and YO colleagues: 

  • EIL and YO Lounge: Open Daily, 8:30–17:30, Tibidabo Suite 
  • EIL and YO Reception: Sunday, 17 June, 18:30–19:30, Room 7.1, Conference Center 7 
  • EIL Brainstorming Discussion and Happy Hour: Sunday, 17 June, 17:30, Room 22, Hall 8.0 
  • YO Informal Night Out; Sunday, 17 June; stop by the EIL/YO Lounge for details.

The ICO Emerging International Leaders Initiative, part of the ICO 2017–2020 Strategic Plan, offers opportunities for networking, mentorship, and leadership skill improvement, especially for those interested in ICO activities or in becoming a future ophthalmic society leader. For more information about this initiative, email Jennifer Hanes, ICO Membership and Society Relations Manager, at

World Forum for Sight at WOC2018

Eye health advocates and others committed to preventing vision loss worldwide will want to attend the World Forum for Sight at WOC2018. The Forum features compelling public health sessions on initiatives to preserve and protect vision: 

Find detailed information about each session by going to and selecting “World Forum for Sight” in the category box.

WHO Announces Continued Official Relations with the ICO

The World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board confirmed renewal of official relations with the International Council of Ophthalmology on 26 January 2018, and commended the ICO’s continuing dedication to WHO.

The ICO’s official status with WHO is significant: In addition to supporting an agreed upon plan of action, the ICO is the global representative for ophthalmology, and serves as a channel for ICO Member societies to collaboratively communicate information and ideas to WHO.

The ICO––composed of over 160 national, regional, and subspecialty Member societies––is working to lead, stimulate, and support the efforts of ophthalmologic societies, eye departments, and related organizations worldwide to enhance ophthalmic education and eye care.

Magrabi ICO Cameroon Eye Institute Celebrates Historic First Year

Impacting lives across borders, the Magrabi ICO Cameroon Eye Institute (MICEI) in Yaoundé, Cameroon, celebrated the anniversary of the Institute’s 29 March 2017 official commissioning. In its inaugural year, MICEI––the first nonprofit specialty eye hospital and training institute in central Africa––cared for 20,000 new patients and began seeing positive income in May 2017.

“MICEI has seen a spectacular list of achievements,” says ICO President Hugh Taylor. “Not only have they successfully survived their first and most difficult year, they have flourished––providing world-class surgery, treatment, and ophthalmic training.”

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) committed US$2 million to MICEI to support 18,000 cataract surgeries over five years. Watch this webinar about the results-based Cameroon Development Impact Bond, which provides upfront financing and repays investors based on successful outcomes. Read about structuring and financing development impact bonds for health.

Learn more about how advocacy can increase monetary support for eye care at the WOC2018 symposium How to Improve Financing for Eye Care.

ICO Member Society Spotlight: Hungarian Ophthalmological Society

The Hungarian Ophthalmological Society (HOS) carries forward Hungary’s proud ophthalmologic heritage. Ophthalmology education began at the University of Pest in 1801, and the first Hungarian journal dedicated to ophthalmology, Ophthalmologia Hungarica (Szemészet), began in 1864 and was one of the earliest specialty journals in the world.

The HOS, founded in 1904, engages with national societies in central and southern Europe and counts more than 600 active members. Supporting their mission to promote ophthalmic education and further medical research, the HOS recently published three studies outlining results of their Hungarian rapid assessment of avoidable blindness (RAAB) with diabetic retinopathy (DR) study: 

Find more RAAB studies and findings at the RAAB Repository.

Tips for Ophthalmologists to Avoid Fraudulent Websites

Unfortunately, fake websites are popping up more often, and international ophthalmic conferences have seen fraudulent websites and fake travel agencies appear in web searches and through paid advertising. We urge you to register for WOC2018 only at

Here are some additional ways to protect yourself and help others avoid being a victim of fraud: 

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