International Council of Opthalmology
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November 2014
Ico Insight : News, Resources, and Events fort he World’s Ophthalmologists

Focus on Leadership at WORLD Meeting in Chicago

Dr. Prashant Garg at 2014 WORLD meeting Dr. Prashant Garg at 2014 WORLD meeting

How do we develop young leaders who will guide ophthalmology in the future?

That question was the focus of a lively and stimulating discussion at the ICO World Ophthalmology Roundtable on Leadership Development (WORLD), at the 2014 American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting in Chicago.

ICO President, Hugh Taylor, AC, MD, led a dynamic interchange that involved approximately 70 leaders of ICO Member societies and others who offered perspectives on leadership, how leaders shape the future, and how to promote and support young leaders.

Providing inspiration for the discussions were presentations by Catherine Bertini, Senior Fellow, Chicago Council of Global Affairs, Former Executive Director, UN World Food Programme; and Robert Brooks, a young leader from the International Diabetes Federation’s Young Leaders Programme.

Conference for Educators at AAO: Improving Teaching Effectiveness

Conference for Educators at AAO: Improving Teaching Effectiveness Conference for Educators at AAO: Improving Teaching Effectiveness

The ICO’s Conference for Ophthalmic Educators at the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Annual Meeting in Chicago was a resounding success. More than 90 attendees with diverse backgrounds and varying levels of experience participated in workshops and group discussions, including:

  • Helping Residents Develop Critical Thinking
  • Presenting on the Web: How to Develop Successful Webinars.
  • Assessment Principles and Tools
  • Effective Structured Feedback

The Conference was organized and co-sponsored by the ICO, the AAO, and the European Society of Ophthalmology.

Conferences for Educators in 2015

Gabriela Palis, MD, ICO Teaching the Teachers Committee Gabriela Palis, MD, ICO Teaching the Teachers Committee

Three Conferences for Ophthalmic Educators are now confirmed for 2015. If you are attending any of the following meetings, we hope you will plan to join us and participate in the Conferences for Ophthalmic Educators:

Past regional conferences have been held in Argentina, South Korea, India, Australia, Brazil, and Denmark.

Dr. Rubens Belfort Honored with International Blindness Prevention Award

Rubens Belfort, Jr., MD Rubens Belfort, Jr., MD

Rubens Belfort, MD, PhD, MBA, ICOFoundation Board Member and President of the 2006 World Ophthalmology Congress® of the International Council of Ophthalmology, was the recipient of the 2014 American Academy of Ophthalmology’s (AAO) International Blindness Prevention Award.

Presented at the opening ceremony at the AAO Annual Meeting in Chicago, the award honors Dr. Belfort’s significant contributions to the prevention of blindness or restoration of sight worldwide. Congratulations to Dr. Belfort on this well deserved recognition.

Additional 2014 special award recipients include:

  • Distinguished Service Award: European Society of Ophthalmology (SOE)
  • Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award: Donald L. Budenz, MD, MPH, and Alan S. Crandall, MD
  • Laureate Recognition Award: Jerry A. Shields, MD

To see all 2014 AAO award recipients, go to:

New Valuable Resource: Manual on Low Vision Care in Africa

Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology International Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology International

The Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology International (KCCO) has published a manual, "Low Vision Care in Africa: Practical Approaches to Clinical Services, Educational Engagement, and Planning.” The manual covers clinical low vision services, linking clinical services with educational services, and planning and monitoring low vision services.

The resource was compiled with support from Wilde Ganzen/Netherlands Lions, Seva Canada, and Light for the World. Access the Manual on Low Vision Care in Africa at:, or request a copy by emailing:

Including Individuals with Disabilities in Eye Health Programs

Inclusion Made Easy <br> in Eye Health Programs Inclusion Made Easy
in Eye Health Programs

Making eye health programs accessible and inclusive of people with disabilities is an important issue that is receiving increasing focus. To help meet this need, the ICO is working with CBM’s Eastern Mediterranean Region to incorporate effective guidelines for inclusion into the ICO Residency Curriculum.

CBM has published an outstanding manual called "Inclusion Made Easy in Eye Health Programs," which is available on the CBM website at:

World Sight Day Inspires Action by Mexican Government

Enrique Graue, MD<br> ICO Vice President Enrique Graue, MD
ICO Vice President

To stimulate implementation of the World Health Organization’s Global Action Plan, Universal Eye Health: A Global Action Plan 2014–2019, key leaders in eye health attended an advocacy event in Mexico City for World Sight Day on October 9.

In response to this call for action, the Mexican government has committed to supporting 10 key initiatives, including: a national registry system for eye diseases and corneal transplants, pediatric and adult refractive error and cataract screening, and screening and treatment of diabetic retinopathy.

The initiatives were based on collaboration of more than six months between the three main private hospitals in Mexico. Enrique Graue, MD, ICO Vice President, said, “World Sight Day seemed to us as the perfect setting in which to publish this document and deliver it to the government. The initiatives are still to be discussed at the National Council of Ophthalmic Diseases, converted into applicable policies, and implemented by local and federal offices.”

The World Sight Day event was organized by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) in collaboration with the Mexican Society of Ophthalmology. Juan Batlle, MD, IAPB Regional Chair, Latin America, and Benito Celis, MD, President, Mexican Society of Ophthalmology, hosted. The evening’s invited speakers and guests included:

  • Serge Resnikoff, MD, PhD (Keynote), ICO Director of Advocacy
  • Bob McMullan, IAPB President
  • Enrique Graue, MD, ICO Vice President
  • Susan Cooper, OD, World Council of Optometry
  • Ivo Kocur, MD, World Health Organization
  • Juan Carlos Silva, MD, MPH, Pan American Health Organization.

To see a complete list of initiatives, go to:

ICO Names VISION 2020 Ambassador in Africa

Ambassador Motlanthe, Dr. Kgao Eddie Legodi, and Merinda Moodie Ambassador Motlanthe, Dr. Kgao Eddie Legodi, and Merinda Moodie

His Excellence Former President and Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe of The Republic of South Africa has been named as the ICO’s Ambassador for VISION 2020 in Africa.

His Exellence Motlanthe’s primary function as Ambassador will be to assist the ICO in assessing the needs of the people of Africa, and specifically South Africa, for eye care, particularly how to make eye care services accessible and affordable. 

The event was conducted in the presence of Mathume Joseph “Joe” Phaahla, MD, Deputy Minister of Health of the Republic of South Africa; Kgao Eddie Legodi, MD, President of the Ophthalmological Society of South Africa and ICO Trustee Board Member; ORBIS staff, and Honorable Foreign Ambassadors to South Africa. 

The ICO is looking forward to working with former President Motlanthe and ophthalmologic societies in Africa on behalf of needy patients in Sub-Saharan Africa and with ophthalmologists and others who are dedicated to eye health.

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