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

Inside the ICO


Peter Wiedemann New ICO President

Peter Wiedemann succeeded Hugh Taylor as President of the ICO. The transition of power took place at the end of the World Ophthalmology Congress in Barcelona, on 19 June 2018.

Professor Wiedemann is committed to leading the ICO into an exciting future with ICO Member societies to reduce the burden of eye disease worldwide. He is internationally recognized for his work in macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy and has held numerous leadership positions including past President of the German Society of Ophthalmology, and Secretary General of the Academia Ophthalmological Internationalis. He is Director of the Leipzig University Eye Hospital in Germany. His well-respected breadth of work includes more than 500 peer reviewed papers and eight books, including Ryan’s Retina.

As ICO President, Prof. Wiedemann has identified collaboration and education as key priority areas. “It is important for the ICO to collaborate with our member ophthalmologic societies and leaders to support ophthalmologists and to advocate for access to high quality eye care,” said Prof. Wiedemann. “I am proud to have the opportunity to serve with the ICO as we work toward our vision of a world in which no one has avoidable vision loss.”

Prof. Wiedemann has served the ICO in numerous roles including Treasurer from 2014–2018 and as Program Chair for both the World Ophthalmology Congresses WOC2012 in Abu Dhabi and WOC2014 in Tokyo.

Meet our New Treasurer

The ICO is also very pleased to welcome our newly appointed Treasurer, Prof. Clement C.Y. Tham. Prof. Tham is Chairman and S.H. Ho Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), and Chief-of-Service of Hong Kong Eye Hospital. He is the Secretary-General & CEO of Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO), and a Chair of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis (AOI). Prof. Tham was ICO Chair of the Scientific Program for WOC2016 Guadalajara, and more recently, WOC2018 Barcelona.

2018–2020 ICO Officers

Peter Wiedemann, MD, President
Neeru Gupta, MD, PhD, MBA, Vice President
Kgaogelo (Eddie) Legodi, MD, Vice President
Clement C.Y. Tham, BM BCh, FRCS, FCSHK, Treasurer

See the full list of the ICO Board of Trustees.

CEO Bill Felch Retires

3 August 2018, William C. Felch Jr. retired as Chief Executive Officer of the International Council of Ophthalmology.

Mr. Felch has been a pillar of the organization serving in a variety of roles over the past 20 years, first as a consultant and then Executive Director alongside Dr. Bruce Spivey. He began as ICO Chief Executive Officer in 2012. His significant contributions to leadership development, ICO education and advocacy programs, and to ICO strategic planning, have been important to the advancement of the global eye health movement. Under his leadership as Chief Executive Officer, the organization expanded its programs and initiatives around the world. We invite the ICO global network to join our Board and staff in thanking Mr. Felch for his tireless work ethic, keen eye for details, and commitment to building a world alliance for sight. The ICO will soon begin the search for a new CEO.

Read more

International Eye Care


World Health Organization Releases ICD-11 with Input from the International Council of Ophthalmology

The World Health Organization (WHO) released its new International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) on 18 June 2018.

The ICO has been a critical player in advising the WHO on the revisions of the Diseases of the visual system section, which includes definitions for distance vision impairment including blindness and near vision impairment.

As the foundation for identifying health trends and statistics worldwide, the ICD-11 will aid efforts to increase support for eye care and prevention of vision loss.

The ICO is in official relations with the World Health Organization. We thank our Task Force Chair Dr. Satoshi Kashii and the committee members who have served the ICD Medical Scientific Advisory Committee tirelessly on behalf of the ICO. In the future, the ICO will review proposed scientific changes, advise on content, and make recommendations to the World Health Organization Classification and Statistics Advisory Committee.

ICD-11 will be submitted to the 72nd World Health Assembly in May 2019 and, following endorsement, WHO Member States will start reporting using ICD-11 on 1 January 2022.

The ICO Endorses Team Training for the Betterment of Patients

The ICO advocates for and encourages comprehensive team training as an essential strategy to achieve Universal Eye Health. The ICO’s position paper, Team Training to Meet Public Needs, was approved by the ICO Board of Trustees at WOC2018 in Barcelona.

Training as a team promotes better communication, coordination, and cooperation. Evidence shows that patients receive higher quality care and are safer when effective health-care teams provide services.

The ICO Position Paper is endorsed by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), the International Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (IJCAHPO), and the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO).

World Sight Day is 11 October 2018

Promote World Sight Day and draw attention to eye care issues so that everyone, everywhere, has access to good eye health.

World Sight Day is the most important advocacy and communications event on the eye health calendar. The IAPB has a full package of promotional materials to help you bring awareness to your communities and planned events.

Use the hashtag #EyeCareEverywhere in the run-up to World Sight Day, and send your event details and photographs to to have your actions included in the 2018 World Sight Day Activities Report.

Societies and Leaders


Member Societies Shape Policy at 2018 ICO General Assembly

Official Representatives and over 110 leaders of ICO Member societies were welcomed to the ICO General Assembly at WOC2018. Dr. Ivo Kocur, Medical Officer of the World Health Organization, also reported on WHO progress regarding the World Report on Vision.

The ICO General Assembly is the world’s largest representation of the international ophthalmology community where leaders come together to improve eye care around the world.

Roundtable discussions considered what societies can do to improve access to eye care in underserved areas, and how ophthalmologists can build and lead teams to meet public needs.

The ICO’s Emerging International Leaders Initiative

Navigating from a young ophthalmologist to a prominent leader in eye care is no easy task, and the ICO’s Emerging International Leaders program as part of the ICO 2017–2020 Strategic Plan, offers strategies for networking, mentorship, and leadership skill improvement, for those interested in ICO activities or in becoming a future leader.

The inaugural meeting for Emerging International Leaders took place during WOC2018 and included discussion about what this group most needs to bridge the gap and which resources and support will be of most value. The Congress offered events and clinical sessions designed with this group’s specific interests in mind.

For more information about this initiative, contact Jennifer Hanes, ICO Membership and Society Relations Manager at



CME Credit for WOC2018

You can claim CME credit for the 2018 World Ophthalmology Congress® even if you were not able to attend in person:

  • If You Attended WOC2018
    The live event is designated for a maximum of 26.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™, and you can claim your CME Certificate online until 7 September 2018. Here are instructions on how to obtain CME Credits for WOC2018. 
  • If You Did Not Attend WOC2018, or If You Need Additional CMEs
    Purchase WOC OnDemand to access the online library of over 500 hours of educational activities available for CME.

WOC2018 is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education.

World Ophthalmology Congress® 2020


WOC2020 in Cape Town!

Join delegates from around the world in Cape Town, South Africa at the World Ophthalmology Congress ® (WOC2020) of the International Council of Ophthalmology from 26–29 June 2020.

What better opportunity to bring attention to Africa and the eye health challenges it faces than the year 2020?

WOC2020 is the first WOC to be held in Africa and will be hosted by the Ophthalmological Society of South Africa (OSSA), with the African Ophthalmology Council (AOC) and Middle East Africa Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO) as co-hosts. Kgaogelo (Eddie) Legodi, MD, will serve as President of WOC2020.

Registration is now open at a reduced rate.

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