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

ICO Insight Offers News You Can Use

Hugh Taylor, MD, AC <br> ICO President Hugh Taylor, MD, AC
ICO President

Welcome to the inaugural issue of ICO Insight, which replaces the ICO Leader Letter. We hope you enjoy this bright, user-friendly, and more mobile newsletter format.

Via monthly issues of ICO Insight, we will be communicating news, announcements, and resources to help ophthalmologists and those who work with them stay up-to-date about global eye health issues and important upcoming events.

Vision loss is a global issue, and the ICO is working with valued partners and colleagues like you to eliminate avoidable blindness worldwide. Learn about the ICO’s programs to refocus education, enhance eye care and advance leadership in the 2014 ICO Update.

The Global Issue of Vision Loss and What We Can Do About It *
Hugh Taylor, AC, MD
President, International Council of Ophthalmology

Globally, there are some 32 million people blind and 191 million with poor vision. The leading cause of blindness worldwide is cataract whereas uncorrected refractive error causes the majority of poor vision. The rates of blindness from diabetes and macular degeneration are rapidly increasing, and AMD is the leading cause of blindness in developed countries.
Three quarters of blindness can be prevented or treated, and although the absolute number of blind people has increased slightly between 1990 and 2010, very importantly, the prevalence of blindness has been halved as eye care programs and particularly cataract services have developed. We know how to deliver better eye care, and it works! However, with only about 205,000 ophthalmologists worldwide there is much work to do. The ICO has a major focus on education and team building to improve the quality and availability of eye care around the world. Its programs include, exams, fellowships, teaching of teachers, curricula for all levels, continuing professional development, and of course, the World Ophthalmology Congresses ®. We must work together in partnership to eliminate avoidable blindness worldwide.

* Abstract synopsis from Professor Taylor’s lecture at the 2014 Asia-Pacific Glaucoma Congress

We Want Your Input: New ICO Glaucoma Subspecialty Curriculum Available for Online Comment

Neeru Gupta, MD, PhD, MBA<br> Chair, Glaucoma Subspecialty Curriculum Committee Neeru Gupta, MD, PhD, MBA
Chair, Glaucoma Subspecialty Curriculum Committee

To ensure that better eye care is accessible to more people worldwide, the ICO is committed to advancing ophthalmic education. One way the ICO is supporting this goal is through the development of curricula for training ophthalmologists, subspecialists, and allied eye health professionals.

The ICO is now seeking review and comments on the ICO Subspecialty Curriculum for Training in Glaucoma. We ask that you consider the material’s accuracy, ease of adaptability, and relevance to your region, and provide your feedback to the Glaucoma Curriculum Committee in the comments section at the conclusion of the curriculum.

The ICO curricula endeavor to present an international consensus on what ophthalmologic subspecialists in training should be taught, with the intention that the curricula be adapted and modified to meet local and regional needs. In addition to the glaucoma curriculum, the ICO has developed or is developing additional subspecialty curricula:

  • The Neuro-Ophthalmology and Cornea, External Diseases, and Refractive Surgery curricula have been finalized by their international ICO committees.
  • The Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery curriculum will be available soon for online comment; and
  • Three additional curricula are in development: Ocular Oncology and Ophthalmic Pathology; Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus; and Vitreoretinal Surgery.

The ICO Residency Curriculum, which was updated in 2012, presents a standardized content outline for ophthalmic training and offers an international consensus on what ophthalmology residents should be taught.

WOC2016 News and Reminders

The next World Ophthalmology Congress® (WOC) of the International Council of Ophthalmology is February 5–9, 2016, in Guadalajara, Mexico. The Congress is hosted by the Mexican Society of Ophthalmology and co-hosted by the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology.  Find information about WOC2016 at:

Register Now for the Best Rates!
Reserve your place at this important event where you'll learn from experts, participate in world-class sessions, and connect with colleagues from all over the world. Visit today.

WOC2020 in Middle East/Africa Region

The 2020 World Ophthalmology Congress® (WOC) of the International Council of Ophthalmology will take place in the Middle East/Africa region.

This month, the ICO sent requests for expressions of interest in hosting WOC2020 to ICO Member societies in the Middle East/Africa region, with a request that they notify the ICO by November 15, 2014, of their intent to submit a proposal. Proposals are due no later than February 15, 2015. The host society and city will be selected provisionally by the ICO Board of Trustees on May 14, 2015, in Milan, Italy.

The WOC is held in a different region every two years. The next Congress, WOC2016, will be February 5–9 in Guadalajara, Mexico; the 2018 WOC will be June 16–20 in Barcelona, Spain.

WOC2018 will be hosted by the Spanish Society of Ophthalmology (Sociedad Española de Oftalmología–SEO). The European Society of Ophthalmology (SOE) and the Spanish Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (SECOIR) will co-host the Congress, in conjunction with the Catalan Society of Ophthalmology and Barraquer Institute. Rafael I. Barraquer, MD, PhD, will serve as the President of WOC2018.

Mark your calendars now for these upcoming Congresses.

Update on Magrabi–ICO Cameroon Eye Institute

Construction continues on the Magrabi-ICO Cameroon Eye Institute (MICEI), a regional-training center in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The building is nearing completion, with selected sections to begin operation in spring 2015.

The Institute will train ophthalmologists and staff in Cameroon and French-speaking central west Africa to become the next generation of leaders. It will provide high-quality services with subspecialties and outreach programs, minimizing the need to send patients abroad.

The Institute is being built and developed by the Magrabi Foundation, the ICO, the That Every Life May Count Foundation, and various nongovernmental organizations, with formal affiliations with the Department of Ophthalmology of the University of Yaoundé and the Cameroon Ministry of Health.

Call to Action: Participate in World Diabetes Day on Friday, November 14, 2014

The 2014 World Diabetes Day campaign is focused on healthy living and diabetes. Led by the International Diabetes Federation and its member associations, World Diabetes Day engages millions of people worldwide in diabetes advocacy and awareness.

Find out what you can do in response to the escalating health threat that diabetes poses by going to:

Download ICO Guidelines for Diabetic Eye Care

The ICO Guidelines for Diabetic Eye Care, revised in 2014, are intended to serve a supportive and educational role for ophthalmologists worldwide, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of eye care for patients with diabetes.

The ICO collected and reviewed diabetic eye care guidelines from around the world, and the revised ICO Guidelines for Diabetic Eye Care represent a technical consensus.

The Guidelines are designed to be adapted as needed for local use and will continue to be updated on an ongoing basis. Download the ICO Guidelines for Diabetic Eye Care at:

Online Self-Directed Diabetic Retinopathy Grading Course

To assist in the identification of diabetic retinopathy within primary care, a new online course from the University of Melbourne, Minum Barreng, and the Centre for Eye Research Australia, has been developed that provides detailed information on the clinical grading, diagnosis, and referral for diabetic retinopathy, so that timely treatment can be provided.

A certificate of competency is provided on successful completion of the competency-based exam. The course is free of charge and is multilingual, with versions now available in English, Chinese, Portuguese, and Spanish. Versions in French and Urdu are in progress. Go to:

Advocacy Works When We Work Together

The October 2014 issue of the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology features the article, “Chronic Eye Disease and the WHO Universal Eye Health Global Action Plan 2014-2019.”

The article discusses Canadian implementation of the WHO Global Action Plan, and was written by ICO Advisory Committee Chair, Neeru Gupta, MD, PhD, MBA, and ICO Advisory Committee Member, Ivo Kocur, MD, MA, MSc, MBA. To read the article, go to:

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