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Date ICO Member Headline Topic Subspecialty Region
March 9, 2021 Neeru Gupta Appointed President of the ICO

Neeru Gupta, MD, PhD, MBA, has been elected President of the ICO by the ICO Board of Trustees. Prof. Gupta officially began in this role on January 1, 2021, becoming the first female President of the organization since its establishment almost a century ago.
“Join me in welcoming Neeru to her new role,” says Prof. Peter Wiedemann, ICO Immediate Past President. “She is an exceptional and tireless advocate for our members and has been instrumental in expanding our reach over the last several years. We look forward to continuing to work with her as she builds on the ICO’s impressive legacy and advances our mission to improve access to eye care around the world.”
Prof. Gupta is an internationally renowned ophthalmologist and surgeon-scientist at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto in Canada. She is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Glaucoma, the world’s premier scientific journal for glaucoma research and the official journal of the World Glaucoma Association for which she serves as President-Elect. A global eye health champion, Prof. Gupta has dedicated herself to the ICO in a number of leadership roles, including as Chair of the ICO Advisory Committee, Chair of ICO Society Relations and Leadership Development, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Vice-President, and Interim President.
“I’m honoured to serve as the new President of the ICO," says Prof. Gupta. "It's a time of unprecedented courage, determination, and innovation as demonstrated by the work of our colleagues around the world. The ICO is committed to promoting eye health and ophthalmology, and I'm so pleased to share the news that once again this year, the ICO has been awarded Official Relation status with the World Health Organization. This is an exceptional recognition that speaks to the vital role the ICO continues to play in representing, connecting, and working with the world’s ophthalmologists and our international partners.”
The ICO is set to unveil its future direction. “Over the coming weeks, we will introduce our new strategic plan with a triple aim of priorities — education, membership, and advocacy — that will guide our efforts to continue to build and lead a World Alliance for Sight,” says Prof. Gupta. “I'm grateful to work alongside all of you and look forward to taking the work of the ICO to the next level, together.”

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March 8, 2021 Meet our 2021 ICO-World Glaucoma Association Fellows from Sub-Saharan Africa

Congratulations to the 10 exceptional Fellows who were recently awarded the ICO-World Glaucoma Association Fellowship for 2021!

This program was created by the ICO, in partnership with the World Glaucoma Association to give promising young ophthalmologists from Sub-Saharan Africa the opportunity to expand their knowledge of glaucoma and improve their practical skills to preserve vision and prevent blindness in their home countries. The Fellowship includes attendance at the 2021 World Glaucoma Congress and three months of glaucoma training at leading Japanese academic institutions.

Best wishes to this year’s Fellows:

  • Dr. Yaseen Siddig Ahmed, Sudan
  • Dr. Nnubia Chinasa Anderline, Nigeria
  • Dr. Kintoki Makela GuyGuy, Congo
  • Dr. Aisha sheriff Kalambe, Nigeria
  • Dr. Evélia Marole, Mozambique
  • Dr. Meriem Seraj Nurrey, Ethiopia
  • Dr. Rebecah Nandasaba, Kenya
  • Dr. Ony Randrianjafisamindrakotroka, Madagascar
  • Dr. Diane Sonassa, Guinea
  • Dr. Arokoyo Oladele Vincent, Nigeria

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February 9, 2021 Apply for an ICO Fellowship

Join the more than 1,200 ophthalmologists from 84 countries who have been granted ICO Fellowships. The ICO Fellowships program supports promising young ophthalmologists from low resource countries in improving their practical skills and broadening their knowledge of ophthalmology.

Apply for three-month, six-month or one-year opportunities with top host organizations around the world. Once your fellowship is complete, you’ll take your learnings and experiences back to your home country to enhance vital programs that preserve vision and prevent vision impairment.

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February 9, 2021 NEW: Lancet Report on Global Eye Health

According to a new report from the Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health, approximately 1.1 billion people are currently living with untreated vision impairment and more than 90% of these cases can be prevented or treated with existing cost-effective interventions.

The report estimates that addressing preventable sight loss could accelerate global development and contribute to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, including reducing poverty and inequality, and improving education and access to work.

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January 12, 2021 Announcing the ICO-Allergan Advanced Research Fellowship Recipient

The ICO-Allergan Advanced Research Fellowship provides the opportunity for a young ophthalmologist to continue research at the university of their choice in any of the subspecialties of glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, pediatric ophthalmology, retina, ocular oncology, uveitis, or cornea.

Congratulations to Dr. Maria Vittoria Cicinelli on receiving the ICO-Allergan Advanced Research Fellowship [Photo]. Her main topic of interest is medical retina.

The ICO acknowledges and thanks Allergan for their commitment to innovation and research in eye care through generous support of the Advanced Research Fellowship.

Our network of host institutions includes 136 hospitals and universities across 33 countries. The ICO is grateful to fellowship host institutions and to our donors for generous contributions that make these opportunities possible.

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January 11, 2021 Spotlight on ICO Fellowships

To date, 1217 ophthalmologists from 84 countries have been granted ICO Fellowships. The ICO Fellowships Program provides important opportunities for promising young ophthalmologists, mostly from low-resource countries, to improve their practical skills and broaden their perspectives of ophthalmology. Fellows bring this acquired knowledge and skills back to their home countries and take part in vital programs that preserve vision and prevent blindness.

Congratulations to Dr. Leticia Checo from the Dominican Republic who recently completed her ICO Fellowship in Glaucoma at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, USA under the supervision of Dr. Syril Dorairaj.

“My experience in the Ophthalmology Department of the Mayo Clinic was very enriching. I was involved in all kinds of clinical, surgical, and academic activities…the professors involved me as much as they could, both examining the patient and making decisions about choosing the best treatment. I was incredibly pleased to have shared the workspace with high-profile professionals at the Mayo Clinic,” said Dr. Checo.

[Photo: Dr. Leticia Checo (left) with her Mayo Clinic Supervisor Dr. Syril Dorairaj (right).]

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October 6, 2020 World Sight Day on 8 October!

World Sight Day, held on the second Thursday of October each year marks an important day to bring together colleagues from around the world to promote and advocate for eye health preservation.

The International Council of Ophthalmology is in official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO) in support of our ophthalmology member societies and colleagues around the world.

Please see important resources below to engage and communicate around World Sight Day on 8 October 2020.

  • WHO Eye Health Resources for the latest global eye health facts and statistics.
  • World Report on Vision aims to address challenges in eye care and to galvanize action to reduce the burden of eye conditions and vision loss.
  • IAPB advocates for World Sight Day.

"High-quality eye care accessible to all is essential for accomplishing universal health coverage. The World Report on Vision provides guidance and inspiration on how to advance integrated people-centered eye care and raise awareness in order to help protect sight for all ages. There are many ways ICO member societies and ophthalmologists worldwide can contribute to this mission." Dr. Ivo Kocur, Chief Executive Officer, International Council of Ophthalmology and contributor to the World Report on Vision

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July 1, 2020 ICO Makes History with WOC2020 Virtual® Bringing Together Over 7,000 Ophthalmologists from 157 Countries

The World Ophthalmology Congress® organized by the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) has made history with an entirely virtual global meeting of over 7,000 ophthalmologists from 157 countries.

The ICO, representing almost 230,000 ophthalmologists worldwide, shared the latest advances, innovations, and best practices in eye care at WOC2020 Virtual®. Filled with many live sessions, this groundbreaking virtual scientific meeting included more than 2,000 talks from internationally acclaimed speakers. First held in 1857, the World Ophthalmology Congress is the longest continuous international medical meeting.

“Shifting from a physical to a virtual gathering was essential to keep everyone safe during the pandemic. The ICO says thank you to our 182 member societies and our international faculty for our rich scientific program and commitment to better eye care everywhere. The virtual Congress has been a huge success and we are thrilled to have been able to bring colleagues from around the world together to share knowledge and collaborate despite the obstacles. WOC2020 Virtual® has brought us together as never before and will be remembered as a major milestone in our history,” said ICO Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ivo Kocur.

Numerous sessions during the conference focused on the COVID-19 pandemic that presents significant risks for ophthalmologists. The International Council of Ophthalmology will continue to share important information and resources relevant to the world’s ophthalmologists via the ICO Global COVID-19 Resource Center.

WOC2020 Virtual® is being celebrated as the most accessible ophthalmology conference ever offered, having provided ophthalmologists from around the world with opportunities to learn and collaborate without the obstacles of travel-related expenses and visa approval processes. This incredible undertaking created an important virtual space for ophthalmologists to safely meet and learn despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Learn more by viewing our WOC2020 Virtual® Post-Congress Video:

To receive news and updates from the ICO, sign up here.

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April 2, 2020 The David and Molly Pyott Foundation Scholarships in Ophthalmology – Application Deadline 1 June 2020

The University of Edinburgh will award 12 scholarships for successful applicants to their Master of Surgery (ChM) in Clinical Ophthalmology programme, thanks to the very generous support of The David and Molly Pyott Foundation.

Trainees/residents/registrars in Ophthalmology and qualified ophthalmologists (generalists and specialists) from Africa, Central and South Asia, Caribbean Islands, Pacific Islands, Central and Latin America who are accepted for admission to the online ChM programme commencing in September 2020 are eligible to apply for the scholarship award which will cover all tuition fees as well as internet access and a laptop. Scholarship applications close on 1st June 2020. Full online application instructions can be found here.

The part-time, online 2-year ChM programme is offered by the University of Edinburgh in partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. Further course information is available online, along with an introductory video by Professor Baljean Dhillon, Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at the University of Edinburgh, and video testimonials by ChM graduates. The ChM is one of a number of Edinburgh Surgery Online Masters programmes in the surgical specialities at the University.

The ChM is designed to support ophthalmology trainees in the United Kingdom and internationally by providing advanced training for those preparing for the fellowship examinations of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd), International Council of Ophthalmology and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) and those approaching consultancy.

The David and Molly Pyott Foundation has been funding this highly successful programme of scholarships in partnership with the University since 2016 which has seen trainee and qualified ophthalmologists (generalists and specialists) from a range of Low and Middle Income countries being educated and trained at Masters level, online, as part of their journey to becoming consultant/specialist ophthalmologists. The online, part time nature of the ChM means that students can study in their home countries without having to take time out of practice or training, whilst continuing to deliver critical care in regions with ophthalmic workforce capacity issues.

Thanks to a very generous additional donation by the Foundation recently, the number of scholarships available in 2020 has doubled. The purpose of the six new scholarships is to support trainees/residents/registrars in ophthalmology and qualified ophthalmologists with leadership potential who are nationals of and resident/working in member countries* of the College of Ophthalmology of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (*as defined on COECSA website as of 1st March 2020). The aim is to fund 30 trainee ophthalmologists over the next 5 five years to undertake the ChM to increase the provision of quality eye care and facilitate the further growth of Ophthalmology services in the region. The University of Edinburgh is working in partnership with the Foundation and COECSA colleagues to facilitate education and training opportunities for the next generation of leaders in ophthalmology.

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March 30, 2020 ICO Insight: Global Efforts to Tackle COVID-19
View the ICO's special COVID-19 issue of our ICO Insight Newsletter.
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March 27, 2020 ICO Global COVID-19 Resource Centre

Welcome to the ICO Global COVID-19 Resource Centre. Here you will find COVID-19 related guidelines, resources, and information provided by ICO Member societies from around the world.

We are facing extraordinarily challenging times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the world is asked to stay home with social distancing recommendations, ophthalmology colleagues and their teams continue to provide urgent care to our patients. Ophthalmologists and eye health teams work in close proximity to their patients as part of the eye examinations and treatment, and they are at particularly high risk of being exposed to the virus and contracting COVID-19. Their protection and that of patients is critical due to the rapid spread of coronavirus. The ICO stands with the recommendations regarding public health safety related to COVID-19 issued by the World Health Organization.

To help protect eye health providers and in response to the growing needs of our global eye health community for information, we have launched this ICO Global COVID-19 Resource Centre. Thank you to all those who have already submitted resources to share. Please email your society guidelines, statements, and recommendations to

We know all of you are working tirelessly and showing selfless courage in the face of risk. We acknowledge with gratitude the courage and the efforts of all those providing eye care on the front lines during these unprecedented times.

COVID-19 Resources, Guidelines, and Information from ICO Member Societies:

All India Ophthalmological Society
AIOS has published COVID-19 operational guidelines and direction for the provision of emergency eye care services. AIOS COVID-19 Guidelines
American Association of Ophthalmic Oncologists and Pathologists
The AAOOP has pubslished COVID-19 guidelines on the management and triage of ocular oncology patients and pathology specimins. AAOOP COVID-19 Guidelines
Argentine Council of Ophthalmology
The Argentine Council of Ophthalmology has published recommendations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and implications in this medical specialty. Argentine Council of Ophthalmology COVID-19 Recommendations
Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology
The Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology has developed and published COVID-19 Prevention Guidelines for Ophthalmic Practices. Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology COVID-19 Guidelines
Canadian Ophthalmological Society
The Canadian Ophthalmological Society in collaboration with the Association of Canadian University Professors of Ophthalmology has produced guidelines for ophthalmic care during COVID-19. Canadian Ophthalmological Society COVID-19 Guidelines
Chinese Preventive Medicine Association, Society of Public Health Ophthalmology, Beijing Ophthalmological Society
Collaboratively produced, these recommendations focus on eye protection during the COVID-19 epidemic. Chinese Preventive Medicine Association, Society of Public Health Ophthalmology, Beijing Ophthalmological Society COVID-19 Recommendations in English and Chinese
Colombian Society of Ophthalmology
The Colombian Society of Ophthalmology offers a variety of COVID-19 recommendations for eye health providers. Colombian Society of Ophthalmology COVID-19 Recommendations
European Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
ESOPRS has published COVID-19 recommendations for oculoplastic surgeons. ESOPRS COVID-19 Recommendations
French Society of Ophthalmology
The French Society of Ophthalmology shares information specific to caring for patients in relation to COVID-19. French Society of Ophthalmology COVID-19 Information and Recommendations
Malaysian Society of Ophthalmology
The Malaysian Society of Ophthalmology has published recommendations regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and implications on Ophthalmology services. Malaysian Society of Ophthalmology COVID-19 Recommendations
Mexican Society of Ophthalmology
The Mexican Society of Ophthalmology has published COVID-19 recommendations on prevention measures to decrease the rate of transmission of the disease. Mexican Society of Ophthalmology COVID-19 Recommendations
Middle East Africa Council of Ophthalmology
The Middle East Africa Council of Ophthalmology provides instructions for serving patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. MEACO COVID-19 Recommendations
Nepal Ophthalmic Society
The Nepal Ophthalmic Society provides COVID-19 Ophthalmology Practice Guidelines. Nepal Ophthalmic Society COVID-19 Practice Guidelines
Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria
The Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria has published a COVID-19 Advisory for ophthalmologists. Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria COVID-19 Advisory
Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology
The Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology has produced eye-related guidelines for ophthalmologists and the public. Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology COVID-19 Information and COVID-19 Public Advisory Documents
Retina International
Retina International has released a statement on COVID-19, Anti-VEGF treatment for Neovascular Age-related Macular Degeneration (nAMD), and Diabetes-related Macular Edema (DME). Retina International COVID-19 Statement
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists
RANZCO has published COVID-19 guidelines and other useful information. RANZCO COVID-19 Guidelines, Position Statement, and Triage Guidelines.
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists has produced COVID-19 clinical guidance, disease management for retina and glaucoma patients, and resources for PPE. Royal College of Ophthalmologists COVID-19 Guidelines.
Turkish Ophthalmological Society
The Turkish Ophthalmological Society is sharing COVID-19 related news which can be found at the following link. TOS COVID-19 Information

Please submit your society guidelines, statements, and resources to so that we can continue to add them here for sharing with our global community.

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March 20, 2020 COVID-19 Alert
The COVID-19 pandemic presents a major challenge to health care providers around the globe. While the world is asked to stay home with social distancing recommendations, our ophthalmology colleagues continue to provide urgent care to patients to prevent vision loss.

The close proximity as part of eye examinations and treatment puts the ophthalmologist and their entire team at particularly high risk of contracting COVID-19.

The virus may cause conjunctivitis, so it is possible that it is transmitted by aerosol contact with conjunctiva. The protection of health care providers and patients is critical due to the rapid spread of coronavirus.

The ICO stands with the recommendations regarding public health safety related to COVID-19 issued by the World Health Organization. Additional resources are available from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Canadian Ophthalmological Society, and the French Ophthalmology Society.

As our colleagues work tirelessly in the days and weeks ahead, we acknowledge their courage and the efforts of all those providing eye care on the front lines during these unprecedented times.

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March 6, 2020 Help Create Greater Glaucoma Awareness, World Glaucoma Week, 8–14 March 2020

World Glaucoma Week, taking place 8–14 March, is a joint initiative between the World Glaucoma Association and the World Glaucoma Patient Association. More details about World Glaucoma Week and many examples of glaucoma awareness activities around the world can be found on the World Glaucoma Week website, and

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February 29, 2020 WOC2020 Now Accepting Late-Breaking Abstracts

The World Ophthalmology Congress® is the largest global meeting in ophthalmology covering all subspecialties. Learn from, network, and collaborate with thousands of delegates from more than 120 countries around the world. WOC2020 will take place 26–29 June 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa.

We are now accepting late-breaking abstracts. Please view the submission guidelines for further information and remember to submit your research before 16 March 2020.

The WOC2020 early bird registration deadline is 2 March 2020. You can still save up to $200 with early bird registration.

Register Now >

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February 29, 2020 Coronavirus Information for Ophthalmologists

It is critical that eye health professionals understand the risks associated with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The virus appears to be spread via respiratory droplets. Patients may be infectious to others even before they experience symptoms of infection. Reports suggest the virus can cause conjunctivitis, so it is possible that it is transmitted by aerosol contact with conjunctiva. It is recommended that you protect your mouth, nose (e.g., an N-95 mask), or eyes (e.g., goggles or shield).

Affected patients frequently present to eye clinics or emergency departments. This increases the likelihood ophthalmologists may be the first providers to evaluate patients possibly infected with COVID-19. For more information, please visit the Coronavirus pages on the following sites:

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February 27, 2020 European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) Joins ICO Global Member Network
[Photo: Left to Right, ESCRS President Prof. Rudy Nuijts and Past-President Prof. Béatrice Cochener-Lamard]

The ICO is excited to welcome the European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) to our global Member network. ESCRS was founded in 1991 to promote education in the field of implant and refractive surgery and to advance and promote the study and practice of ophthalmology. The organization seeks to promote and support research in the field of intraocular lens implantation and refractive surgery, and the dissemination of the results thereof. ESCRS has over 8,000 members from 130 countries. The 38th Annual Congress will take place in 3–7 October 2020 at RAI Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

For more information please visit

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September 30, 2019 New CEO Ivo Kocur to Drive ICO Future
The ICO Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Ivo Kocur MD MSc MA MBA— a high profile, results-oriented leader — will drive the future of the ICO as our next Chief Executive Officer. An accomplished senior Medical Officer with the World Health Organization responsible for the global eye health agenda, Ivo carries with him more than 20 years of experience in public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. Ivo brings to the ICO a proven track record of success, change and collaborations worldwide toward the prevention of vision impairment and enhancement of eye care.

Ivo holds a medical degree and began his career as an eye surgeon and teacher at the Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, his native country. His passion to promote education led to his efforts to spearhead the establishment of the Lions Ophthalmology Education Center in Prague, now attended by over 3000 ophthalmologists from many countries. He holds a Master of Science in Community Eye Health from the University College London, a Master of Arts in Diplomacy from the Diplomatic Academy of London, and a Master of Business Administration from the European University in Geneva, Switzerland.

In 2002, Ivo was appointed by the World Health Organization as WHO Global Coordinator of VISION 2020 and fostered international collaborations of key stakeholders in order to shape the global public eye health agenda. Since then he has facilitated the development of four eye health resolutions and two global action plans endorsed by the World Health Assembly. During his career with the WHO, Ivo has been instrumental in working with ministries of health to assess and develop national eye care plans.

ICO President Peter Wiedemann MD says, “We are particularly impressed by Ivo’s energy and focus on society members. He clearly understands the need to ensure the ICO represents our member needs to its fullest.”

Ivo is well versed in eye care delivery and health system issues with a career that has included roles in fundraising, government relations, and public affairs in the eye care sector. “I am honored to join the ICO and excited to build on its outstanding legacy and dedication to improve eye care around the world,” said Ivo.

The Board thanks Neeru Gupta MD PhD MBA for her exemplary leadership and commitment to the organization as past Interim CEO. Neeru has played an integral role in advancing the ICO mission and continues to serve as ICO Vice-President.
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September 30, 2019 New Published Data on the Number of Ophthalmologists Worldwide: Will We Meet the Needs?
The ICO surveyed national societies of ophthalmology and representatives from the Ministry of Health from 194 countries to gather the total number and density of ophthalmologists at the national and global level, including growth trends. The authors reported over 230,000 ophthalmologists in 194 countries. A significant shortfall of ophthalmologists in many countries was noted, and the ageing population has been growing faster than the profession.

The authors concluded that although the estimated global ophthalmologist workforce appears to be growing, the appropriate distribution of the eye care workforce and the development of comprehensive eye care delivery systems are needed to ensure that eye care needs are universally met.

The article is published by the British Journal of Ophthalmology and is available online at:
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September 30, 2019 Submit your Abstract and Apply for Travel Grants to WOC2020
Abstract Submission is Open
Submit your abstract today for a chance to take an active part at the 37th World Ophthalmology Congress, taking place 26–29 June 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Find out more about the different presentation categories and 26 topics. Please note that only abstracts submitted via the dedicated submission platform will be considered. Abstract submission closes on 02 December 2019.

Travel Grants
The ICO offers grants to support eye care professionals around the world to accepted abstract submitters. Grants are awarded based on the quality of abstracts and need. Priority will be given to participants from middle and low-income countries. The grant consists of an amount of USD 1,000 and waived registration fee. Please indicate while submitting your abstract that you wish to apply for a Travel Grant. Get more information regarding WOC2020 Travel Grants.
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September 1, 2019 India’s Young Ophthalmologists Times Highlights ICO Fellowships

The Young Ophthalmologists Society of India has released the latest issue of their official publication the Young Ophthalmologists Times (YO Times).

The issue focuses on vitreo-retina training and provides an in-depth look into vitreo-retina as a career option. Articles provide useful information on retina-focused ICO Fellowships, the Indian institutes that host ICO Fellowships, and tips on succeeding as retina fellow and beyond.

Download the current issue of YO Times.

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