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Date ICO Member Headline Topic Subspecialty Region
May 15, 2018 Reduced Registration Rates for WOC2018 Ending Soon!

Register today for the 16–19 June World Ophthalmology Congress® (WOC2018) in Barcelona, Spain, as registration fees increase after 23 May.

In addition to a Scientific Program of over 350 sessions at the Fira Gran Via conference center, WOC2018 offers ticketed courses and events that provide even more opportunities to connect and learn: 

  • Develop your surgical skills, learn innovative techniques, and better prevent and manage surgical complications with Hands-On Courses in cataract and vitreoretinal surgery, manual small incision cataract surgery, glaucoma, keratoplasty, and vitrectomy. 
  • Interact with experienced doctors at the WOC Breakfast Club. Discuss the latest trends covering a wide range of ophthalmic specialties, question assumptions, and fully engage in a relaxed learning atmosphere. 
  • Step into Spain’s history during Cultural Night on Monday, 18 June. Drink sangria, feast on delicious tapas, and take in the artistic beauty of human towers, Spanish horses, and flamenco dancers. Close out the evening with dancing and a battle of the (ophthalmologist) bands.

Ticketed events are selling out fast. Sign up when you register for WOC2018, or if already registered, log back into your WOC account, and add these events now.

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World Ophthalmology Congress

May 15, 2018 Commonwealth of Nations Commit to Enhancing Eye Care

It was announced at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting on 19–20 April in the United Kingdom, that each of the 53 member countries has committed to a major effort to enhance eye health.

Leaders welcomed regional, national, and global pledges to take action towards achieving access to quality eye care for all, a “Vision for the Commonwealth.”

This advocacy achievement supports the goals of the World Health Organization’s Global Action Plan on Universal Eye Health 2014–2019, and was spearheaded by the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust (the Trust), a member of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).

The action builds on the 12 March announcement that the Trust and others are working on an ambitious multi-stakeholder initiative to lay the foundation for a new $1bn Vision Catalyst Fund to bring eye care to the people of the world.

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Advocacy/Vision 2020

Eye Care

May 15, 2018 Government Support of Eye Care Sees Major Advancement in Africa

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) launched the second generation of the “Alliance to Fight Avoidable Blindness” (AFAB) in Tunisia on 2 April 2018.

IDB Member states initially committed $30 million dollars to support eye care in 12 African countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Comoros, Cöte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, and Togo.

Expected accomplishments in this second phase include one million cataract operations, 11 million children screened for refractive errors, 700 scholarships for the training of eye health professionals, and additional services for diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and some of its members are partnering with the IDB on this initiative and will assist in developing plans to provide sustainable comprehensive eye services.

The first-phase of the AFAB program (2008–2015) targeted eight member countries, provided eye care to more than 244,000 individuals, and restored sight to approximately 49,000 people. The program was initiated by Dr. Ahmed Trabelsi, ICO Advisory Committee member and President of the Nadi Al Bassar Foundation, who approached the IDB about eradicating blindness in Africa.

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Eye Care

May 15, 2018 Expand Your Educational and Clinical Skills with ICO Online Courses

ICO Online Courses are designed for the busy professional and can be accessed at the user’s convenience for 16 weeks following enrollment.

ICO Online Courses Available Now

Upcoming ICO Online Courses 

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May 15, 2018 ICO Advanced Exam and ICO Subspecialty Examinations Application Deadline is 31 July

Apply now to take the ICO Advanced Examination and the ICO Subspecialty Examinations, which will be offered at testing centers around the world on 17 October 2018. The deadline to apply is 31 July.

The ICO Advanced Examination is offered to ophthalmologists who have passed all three parts of the ICO Standard Examination or an examination of similar standard. Candidates who pass the ICO Advanced Examination, along with a local face-to-face examination, may use the post-nominal acronym FICO.

The ICO Subspecialty Examinations are offered for cornea and external disease; glaucoma; medical and surgical retina; neuro-ophthalmology; oculoplastics; pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus; and uveitis.

Go to: for more information and to download application forms.

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ICO Examinations

May 15, 2018 David E I Pyott Master of Surgery in Clinical Ophthalmology Scholarship Application Deadline is 27 July

Six scholarships for online distance learning of a Master of Surgery in Clinical Ophthalmology are available for students from Africa, South Asia, Caribbean Islands, Pacific Islands, and Central and South America.

Scholarships cover tuition and a laptop, and they are awarded to students who are accepted for admission to the program at the University of Edinburgh.

Applications are due 27 July 2018, with applicants notified of the outcome by 30 September 2018. The scholarships are funded by the generous support of the David E I Pyott Foundation.

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May 15, 2018 Adaptable Resource for Data Collection

The article Field Testing Project to Pilot World Health Organization (WHO) Eye Health Indicators in Latin America offers adaptable study tools and methodologies that ICO Member societies and others can use to strengthen their data collection and reporting for (WHO) Universal Eye Health: a Global Action Plan 2014–2019.

The pilot study used simple data collection, reporting tools, and methodologies to facilitate implementation of WHO core eye health indicators in five Latin American countries.

The article, published in the journal Ophthalmic Epidemiology and co-authored by Dr. Van Lansingh, ICO Director of Advocacy, discusses how improved communication and cooperation between data stakeholders can significantly impact training and service delivery by individuals and eye-health-related organizations––furthering the goal of universal health and promotion of sustainable development goals.

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May 15, 2018 Standard Guidelines for Comprehensive School Eye Health Programs

Standardized guidelines to set up, develop, and/or strengthen comprehensive eye health programs as an integral part of school health were approved by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).

The Standard Guidelines for Comprehensive School Eye Health Programs––a joint collaboration between Sightsavers International, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the Brien Holden Vision Institute––recognize the unique opportunity school health programs have in providing comprehensive eye health services to potentially more than 700 million children worldwide.

Dr. Serge Resnikoff, ICO Director of the Eye Health Committee, outlines in the document’s Foreword that access to eye care is critically important for school-age children, as it introduces eye health education, enables early detection and referral of children with eye problems, and can protect and improve sight so that poor vision does not impede a child’s opportunity for academic success.

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May 11, 2018 A Simple Way to Improve a Billion Lives: Eyeglasses

The New York Times recently wrote an article, A Simple Way to Improve a Billion Lives: Eyeglasses, which looks at the global issue of eyesight, which estimates say affects between one and 2.5 billion people.

It also looks at the work done by organizations like EYElliance, a nonprofit group trying to raise money and bring attention to the problem of uncorrected vision. In 2015, only $37 million was spent on delivering eyeglasses to people in the developing world, less than one percent of resources devoted to global health issues. EYElliance is trying to change that.

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Advocacy/Vision 2020

Eye Care


April 26, 2018 Calls for Abstracts for the next AMEE MedEdPublish

The development of health professional educators is the current theme for the April to June issue of AMEE MedEdPublish. The Theme Editor is Professor Gary D. Rogers. You are invited to publish a paper relating to the training and continuing professional development of those who facilitate the learning of health professionals, including academic faculty, small group tutors, clinical supervisors and simulated patients. Contributions are welcome from authors with a primary focus on faculty development, as well as from teachers ‘in the field’ on what additional education and support they need to work to their full potential.

To ensure manuscripts are included in this issue, authors should upload their manuscript on the MedEdPublish website, using the online submission form between the 31st March and the 1st of June 2018. General non-themed articles are also accepted at any time.

The next theme launching in July will be Humanities in Medical Education led by Theme Editors Jonathan McFarland, Trevor Gibbs and Irina Markovina. Submissions are welcomed for this theme from the 1st July up until the 31st August 2018.

For further information about AMEE MedEdPublish please visit the website –

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April 25, 2018 Save Money by Registering Now for WOC2018

Register Now for the 36th World Ophthalmology Congress® (WOC2018) of the International Council of Ophthalmology before prices increase after 23 May.

Learn and interact with ophthalmologists from more than 130 countries, and participate in a Scientific Program of over 350 sessions at the Fira Gran Via Convention Center 16–19 June in Barcelona, Spain.

Revenues from the WOC help support ICO initiatives and programs that enhance ophthalmic education and preserve and restore vision for the people of the world.

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World Ophthalmology Congress

April 25, 2018 Strengthen Skills Today and Look Toward Tomorrow at WOC2018

In addition to offering a vast array of the latest clinical topics––WOC2018 also focuses on subjects that carry major implications for ophthalmology’s future. As two examples: 

  • The inaugural Robert Ritch Forum on Medicine of the Future, Sunday, 17 June from 10:30 to 12:00, explores nanotechnology, tissue bioengineering, and artificial intelligence––increasingly significant areas impacting our lives now and twenty years from now. Watch a three-minute video of Dr. Ritch discussing the forum's program in more detail. 
  • Diabetes and Eye Health––a special symposium organized by the ICO––will discuss integrated care for diabetes and eye health. The symposium builds upon the ICO, the World Council of Optometry, the International Diabetes Federation, and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness Global Statement on Diabetes and Eye Heath calling for urgent action so everyone with diabetes has access to sight-saving services.

Find all WOC2018 sessions on diabetes at; search word “diabetes.”

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World Ophthalmology Congress

April 25, 2018 Emerging International Leaders and Young Ophthalmologists are the Pacesetters of Tomorrow

Emerging International Leaders (EILs) and Young Ophthalmologists (YOs) are at the forefront of a long and exciting professional life, and WOC2018 offers numerous opportunities to meet and socialize with newfound EIL and YO colleagues: 

  • EIL and YO Lounge: Open Daily, 8:30–17:30, Tibidabo Suite 
  • EIL and YO Reception: Sunday, 17 June, 18:30–19:30, Room 7.1, Conference Center 7 
  • EIL Brainstorming Discussion and Happy Hour: Sunday, 17 June, 17:30, Room 22, Hall 8.0 
  • YO Informal Night Out; Sunday, 17 June; stop by the EIL/YO Lounge for details.

The ICO Emerging International Leaders Initiative, part of the ICO 2017–2020 Strategic Plan, offers opportunities for networking, mentorship, and leadership skill improvement, especially for those interested in ICO activities or in becoming a future ophthalmic society leader. For more information about this initiative, email Jennifer Hanes, ICO Membership and Society Relations Manager, at

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World Ophthalmology Congress

April 25, 2018 World Forum for Sight at WOC2018

Eye health advocates and others committed to preventing vision loss worldwide will want to attend the World Forum for Sight at WOC2018. The Forum features compelling public health sessions on initiatives to preserve and protect vision: 

Find detailed information about each session by going to and selecting “World Forum for Sight” in the category box.

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World Ophthalmology Congress

April 25, 2018 WHO Announces Continued Official Relations with the ICO

The World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board confirmed renewal of official relations with the International Council of Ophthalmology on 26 January 2018, and commended the ICO’s continuing dedication to WHO.

The ICO’s official status with WHO is significant: In addition to supporting an agreed upon plan of action, the ICO is the global representative for ophthalmology, and serves as a channel for ICO Member societies to collaboratively communicate information and ideas to WHO.

The ICO––composed of over 160 national, regional, and subspecialty Member societies––is working to lead, stimulate, and support the efforts of ophthalmologic societies, eye departments, and related organizations worldwide to enhance ophthalmic education and eye care.

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ICO Partners

April 25, 2018 Magrabi ICO Cameroon Eye Institute Celebrates Historic First Year

Impacting lives across borders, the Magrabi ICO Cameroon Eye Institute (MICEI) in Yaoundé, Cameroon, celebrated the anniversary of the Institute’s 29 March 2017 official commissioning. In its inaugural year, MICEI––the first nonprofit specialty eye hospital and training institute in central Africa––cared for 20,000 new patients and began seeing positive income in May 2017.

“MICEI has seen a spectacular list of achievements,” says ICO President Hugh Taylor. “Not only have they successfully survived their first and most difficult year, they have flourished––providing world-class surgery, treatment, and ophthalmic training.”

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) committed US$2 million to MICEI to support 18,000 cataract surgeries over five years. Watch this webinar about the results-based Cameroon Development Impact Bond, which provides upfront financing and repays investors based on successful outcomes. Read about structuring and financing development impact bonds for health.

Learn more about how advocacy can increase monetary support for eye care at the WOC2018 symposium How to Improve Financing for Eye Care.

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ICO Partners


April 25, 2018 ICO Member Society Spotlight: Hungarian Ophthalmological Society

The Hungarian Ophthalmological Society (HOS) carries forward Hungary’s proud ophthalmologic heritage. Ophthalmology education began at the University of Pest in 1801, and the first Hungarian journal dedicated to ophthalmology, Ophthalmologia Hungarica (Szemészet), began in 1864 and was one of the earliest specialty journals in the world.

The HOS, founded in 1904, engages with national societies in central and southern Europe and counts more than 600 active members. Supporting their mission to promote ophthalmic education and further medical research, the HOS recently published three studies outlining results of their Hungarian rapid assessment of avoidable blindness (RAAB) with diabetic retinopathy (DR) study: 

Find more RAAB studies and findings at the RAAB Repository.

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ICO Membership

April 25, 2018 Tips for Ophthalmologists to Avoid Fraudulent Websites

Unfortunately, fake websites are popping up more often, and international ophthalmic conferences have seen fraudulent websites and fake travel agencies appear in web searches and through paid advertising. We urge you to register for WOC2018 only at

Here are some additional ways to protect yourself and help others avoid being a victim of fraud: 

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April 11, 2018 ICO-OSCAR Ptosis

We are excited to announce that a new ICO Ophthalmology Surgical Competency Assessment Rubric (ICO-OSCAR) for anterior approach ptosis surgery was published in the February 2018 issue of Orbit.

The ICO-OSCAR is a behavioral and skill-based rubric to teach and assess an ophthalmologist’s surgical competence. Evaluators use the rubric to objectively measure the resident’s capability in performing a specific procedure and it also provides learners with a tool to better gauge their own effectiveness.

Download the ICO-OSCAR: Ptosis

See all available ICO-OSCARs and translations.

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April 11, 2018 Enroll Now: Learning and Teaching Critical Thinking

Join the new online course organized by the International Council of Ophthalmology: Learning and Teaching Critical Thinking.

The ability to think critically is an advantageous skill and is key to being a successful professional. This 8-week course is designed to improve analytical abilities, help you be more impactful in your decisions, and for teachers to become better equipped to support students in developing their own critical thinking skills.

There is no fee for the course, but proof of purchase of the reading material is required.

Learn more about the course.

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