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

Reduced Registration Rates for WOC2018 Ending Soon!

Register today for the 16–19 June World Ophthalmology Congress® (WOC2018) in Barcelona, Spain, as registration fees increase after 23 May.

In addition to a Scientific Program of over 350 sessions at the Fira Gran Via conference center, WOC2018 offers ticketed courses and events that provide even more opportunities to connect and learn: 

  • Develop your surgical skills, learn innovative techniques, and better prevent and manage surgical complications with Hands-On Courses in cataract and vitreoretinal surgery, manual small incision cataract surgery, glaucoma, keratoplasty, and vitrectomy. 
  • Interact with experienced doctors at the WOC Breakfast Club. Discuss the latest trends covering a wide range of ophthalmic specialties, question assumptions, and fully engage in a relaxed learning atmosphere. 
  • Step into Spain’s history during Cultural Night on Monday, 18 June. Drink sangria, feast on delicious tapas, and take in the artistic beauty of human towers, Spanish horses, and flamenco dancers. Close out the evening with dancing and a battle of the (ophthalmologist) bands.

Ticketed events are selling out fast. Sign up when you register for WOC2018, or if already registered, log back into your WOC account, and add these events now.

Commonwealth of Nations Commit to Enhancing Eye Care

It was announced at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting on 19–20 April in the United Kingdom, that each of the 53 member countries has committed to a major effort to enhance eye health.

Leaders welcomed regional, national, and global pledges to take action towards achieving access to quality eye care for all, a “Vision for the Commonwealth.”

This advocacy achievement supports the goals of the World Health Organization’s Global Action Plan on Universal Eye Health 2014–2019, and was spearheaded by the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust (the Trust), a member of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).

The action builds on the 12 March announcement that the Trust and others are working on an ambitious multi-stakeholder initiative to lay the foundation for a new $1bn Vision Catalyst Fund to bring eye care to the people of the world.

Government Support of Eye Care Sees Major Advancement in Africa

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) launched the second generation of the “Alliance to Fight Avoidable Blindness” (AFAB) in Tunisia on 2 April 2018.

IDB Member states initially committed $30 million dollars to support eye care in 12 African countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Comoros, Cöte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, and Togo.

Expected accomplishments in this second phase include one million cataract operations, 11 million children screened for refractive errors, 700 scholarships for the training of eye health professionals, and additional services for diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and some of its members are partnering with the IDB on this initiative and will assist in developing plans to provide sustainable comprehensive eye services.

The first-phase of the AFAB program (2008–2015) targeted eight member countries, provided eye care to more than 244,000 individuals, and restored sight to approximately 49,000 people. The program was initiated by Dr. Ahmed Trabelsi, ICO Advisory Committee member and President of the Nadi Al Bassar Foundation, who approached the IDB about eradicating blindness in Africa.

Expand Your Educational and Clinical Skills with ICO Online Courses

ICO Online Courses are designed for the busy professional and can be accessed at the user’s convenience for 16 weeks following enrollment.

ICO Online Courses Available Now

Upcoming ICO Online Courses 

ICO Advanced Exam and ICO Subspecialty Examinations Application Deadline is 31 July

Apply now to take the ICO Advanced Examination and the ICO Subspecialty Examinations, which will be offered at testing centers around the world on 17 October 2018. The deadline to apply is 31 July.

The ICO Advanced Examination is offered to ophthalmologists who have passed all three parts of the ICO Standard Examination or an examination of similar standard. Candidates who pass the ICO Advanced Examination, along with a local face-to-face examination, may use the post-nominal acronym FICO.

The ICO Subspecialty Examinations are offered for cornea and external disease; glaucoma; medical and surgical retina; neuro-ophthalmology; oculoplastics; pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus; and uveitis.

Go to: for more information and to download application forms.

David E I Pyott Master of Surgery in Clinical Ophthalmology Scholarship Application Deadline is 27 July

David E.I.Pyott<br>ICOFoundation President David E.I.Pyott
ICOFoundation President

Six scholarships for online distance learning of a Master of Surgery in Clinical Ophthalmology are available for students from Africa, South Asia, Caribbean Islands, Pacific Islands, and Central and South America.

Scholarships cover tuition and a laptop, and they are awarded to students who are accepted for admission to the program at the University of Edinburgh.

Applications are due 27 July 2018, with applicants notified of the outcome by 30 September 2018. The scholarships are funded by the generous support of the David E I Pyott Foundation.

Adaptable Resource for Data Collection

The article Field Testing Project to Pilot World Health Organization (WHO) Eye Health Indicators in Latin America offers adaptable study tools and methodologies that ICO Member societies and others can use to strengthen their data collection and reporting for (WHO) Universal Eye Health: a Global Action Plan 2014–2019.

The pilot study used simple data collection, reporting tools, and methodologies to facilitate implementation of WHO core eye health indicators in five Latin American countries.

The article, published in the journal Ophthalmic Epidemiology and co-authored by Dr. Van Lansingh, ICO Director of Advocacy, discusses how improved communication and cooperation between data stakeholders can significantly impact training and service delivery by individuals and eye-health-related organizations––furthering the goal of universal health and promotion of sustainable development goals.

Standard Guidelines for Comprehensive School Eye Health Programs

Standardized guidelines to set up, develop, and/or strengthen comprehensive eye health programs as an integral part of school health were approved by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).

The Standard Guidelines for Comprehensive School Eye Health Programs––a joint collaboration between Sightsavers International, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the Brien Holden Vision Institute––recognize the unique opportunity school health programs have in providing comprehensive eye health services to potentially more than 700 million children worldwide.

Dr. Serge Resnikoff, ICO Director of the Eye Health Committee, outlines in the document’s Foreword that access to eye care is critically important for school-age children, as it introduces eye health education, enables early detection and referral of children with eye problems, and can protect and improve sight so that poor vision does not impede a child’s opportunity for academic success.

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