International Council of Opthalmology
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May 2016
Ico Insight : News, Resources, and Events fort he World’s Ophthalmologists

ICO Reviewing WHO Essential Medicines

The ICO is in official collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) as the global representative for ophthalmology. In this role, the ICO has been invited by the WHO to review the medications used to treat eye disease currently listed on the WHO Essential Medicines List.

The WHO Essential Medicines List serves as a guide for governments to know what medicines should be available (and ideally paid for). It sets a global standard and provides a basis for advocacy within countries for funding for drugs and for coverage in health insurance programs.

The ICO has invited our ICO Subspecialty Member societies to collaborate with the ICO in considering new medications that could be added and/or suggesting current medications that should be deleted. As a result of previously submitted applications from the ICO, two new drugs, Avastin and Latanoprost, are now included.

The current WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (EML) and Model List of Essential Medicines for Children (EMLc) can be found at:

“History of Ophthalmology” and WOC2016 Educational Sessions Available Online

How familiar are you with the evolution of ophthalmology?

Attendees at the opening ceremony of the 2016 World Ophthalmology Congress® (WOC) in Guadalajara, Mexico, enjoyed a short presentation that outlined the progresses in our field. Watch the “History of Ophthalmology” at:

Interested in seeing more than 200 presentations from WOC2016? Search by topic, and find Congress sessions, talks, slides, and audio online and available for free at WOC On Demand:

Join Us in Barcelona for WOC2018; Come to Cape Town for WOC2020

Mark your calendar now for these upcoming World Ophthalmology Congresses® of the International Council of Ophthalmology:

  • WOC2018: Barcelona, Spain
 June 16–19, 2018

    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 be WOC2018 co-hosts, in conjunction with the Catalan Society of Ophthalmology and Barraquer Institute. Rafael I. Barraquer, MD, PhD, will serve as the President of WOC2018.
  • WOC2020: Cape Town, South Africa
 June 26–29, 2020
    WOC2020 will be hosted by the Ophthalmological Society of South Africa (OSSA), with the Middle East Africa Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO) and the African Ophthalmology Council (AOC) as co-hosts. Kgaogelo “Eddie” Legodi, MD, will serve as the President of WOC2020.

Plans for WOC2022 in the Asia-Pacific Region are underway. The host society and city will be selected provisionally by the ICO Board of Trustees on March 1, 2017, in Singapore.

Be part of the community, and follow the WOC on social media:

Transforming Lectures into Effective Teaching Interventions

Applications are being accepted for two upcoming sessions of the ICO’s popular online course, “Transforming Lectures into Effective Teaching Interventions”:

June 20–August 20, 2016: Application deadline June 5
July 11–September 9, 2016: Application deadline June 26.

The course, which requires approximately 2–3 hours per week, is designed to be valuable for all teachers. Participants will learn to generate interactions that foster knowledge and critical thinking, as well as how to use different approaches when teaching facts, concepts, procedures, processes, and principles.

For information about “Transforming Lectures” and to apply, go to:

ICO Member Societies Extending Reach of ICO Educator Programs

The ICO Conferences for Ophthalmic Educators offer expert instruction, interactive workshops, and group discussion for ophthalmic educators, where they learn about the latest tools and practice techniques of modern education.

ICO courses and conferences provide a standardized content, which can be revised and modified, with the precise local detail for implementation left to the region’s educators.

Putting this concept into practice, educators from the All India Ophthalmological Society (AIOS) recently took ICO courses and trained in ICO education principles. With ICO input and guidance, the AIOS convened their own 1-day event, the ICO-AIOS Teachers in Ophthalmology Conference, and organized local workshops that addressed specific regional needs.

The Ophthalmological Society of Pakistan (OSA) will be conducting their first ICO-OSA Teachers in Ophthalmology Conference in conjunction with their society congress in December.

Member societies can contact for more information about this opportunity to expand the reach of ICO educator programs and help ophthalmic educators in your region to become more effective teachers.

International Glaucoma Guidelines Issued by the ICO Now Available in 9 Languages

Neeru Gupta, MD, PhD, MBA <br> Chair, Glaucoma Task Force Vice-President, ICO Neeru Gupta, MD, PhD, MBA
Chair, Glaucoma Task Force Vice-President, ICO

The ICO has published Guidelines for Glaucoma Eye Care as a resource for health professionals around the world, to help reduce blindness from glaucoma. These unique guidelines summarize how to manage both open and closed angle glaucoma, and address core requirements to care for glaucoma in low resource settings, in addition to moderate to high resource settings. 

The Guidelines are now available for download in English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish at:

The ICO thanks the following subspecialty societies for their review during the development process:

  • American Glaucoma Society
  • Asia Pacific Glaucoma Society
  • Canadian Glaucoma Society
  • World Glaucoma Association.

The ICO thanks ARCO International Languages for translating the English version of the guidelines into all languages with the exception of the Turkish guidelines, which were translated by Dr. Zeynep Kayaarasi Ozturker.

The ICO thanks the following individuals and societies for reviewing the translations for accuracy:

  • Professor Homero G. Almeida, Brazilian Council of Ophthalmology (Portuguese)
  • Professor Ningli Wang, Chinese Society of Ophthalmology (Chinese)
  • Professor Ghada Albayat, Middle East Africa Council of Ophthalmology (Arabic)
  • Professor Boris Malyugin, Russian Society of Ophthalmology (Russian)
  • Professor Belgin Izgi, Turkish Ophthalmology Society (Turkish)
  • Professor Nathan Congdon and team (Chinese)
  • Professor Tanuj Dada (Hindi)
  • Professor Jean-Jacques De Laey (French)
  • Professor Fabian Lerner (Spanish).

ICO Ethical Guidelines Translated into Russian and Spanish

The ICO Ethical Guidelines for Ophthalmologists: Ethical Principles and Professional Standards, which can be adapted and modified by national societies, are intended to present comprehensive guidelines to which practitioners might refer when confronted with professional or ethical dilemmas, and to act as a benchmark by which to judge behavior in professional matters.

Now available in Russian and Spanish, the ICO Ethical Guidelines for Ophthalmologists extend the ethical code of the World Medical Association and comprise a set of moral principles and standards to guide the behavior of ophthalmologists within their professional domain.

Download the ICO Ethical Guidelines for Ophthalmologists: Ethical Principles and Professional Standards at:

The ICO thanks Drs. Anton Vurdaft and Sergey Branchevski for the Russian translation and Drs. Pamela Gonzalez and Gabriela Palis for the Spanish translation.

Supporting Residency Training Through Distribution of BCSC

BCSC books at the Srikiran Institute of Ophthalmology in India BCSC books at the Srikiran Institute of Ophthalmology in India

The ICO and American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) have partnered to send 125 sets of the AAO Basic and Clinical Sciences Course (BCSC) to ophthalmology residency training programs in low resource countries this year.

The 13-volume BCSC is a core educational foundation for resident training and a source of up-to-date clinical knowledge for practitioners. Distribution is at no cost to the recipient programs. 

The ICO and AAO collaboration to bring much needed medical education resources to all parts of the world began in 2008, and to date, approximately 1,600 BCSC sets have been distributed. The ICO’s contribution is supported by Alcon.

Directory of Training Resources for “Research Capacity Building

The Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis (AOI) directory of Resources for Research Capacity Building Program is available on the AOI website and can be accessed at:

The training directory has information shared by AOI members from their institutions to support the initiative to build research capacity. It provides information on the different modalities of training programs, names of institutions that offer this training, and additional basic information. 

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