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News Archive

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Date ICO Member Headline Topic Subspecialty Region
October 26, 2017 Critical New Data on Vision Impairment

Data for causes of vision impairment and blindness form an important basis of recommendations in public health policies. While the prevalence of blindness has decreased globally, and vision for millions of people has been saved, there is still much to do.

The Vision Loss Expert Group published two articles in The Lancet in conjunction with World Sight Day that offer both valuable statistics and concerning analysis: 

  • The global level of blindness caused by cataracts in adults over age 50 has remained almost unchanged, declining from 36.7 percent in 1990 to 35.1 percent in 2015, with a further decline to 34.7 percent predicted by 2020. 
  • As the population aged 50-plus is set to rise dramatically, stalled progress on cataracts and other causes of blindness—and the progressive nature of those diseases—means the number of blind individuals is expected to triple by the year 2050. 
  • A lack of access to eye health care in low- and middle-income countries has slowed progress.

The articles––“Global Causes of Blindness and Distance Vision Impairment 1990–2020: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” and “Global Causes of Vision Loss in 2015”––follow the Vision Loss Expert Group’s earlier projections on global blindness and low vision published in the September 2017 issue of The Lancet.

On World Sight Day 2017, the IAPB Vision Atlas was published, which presents this complex data through maps and infographics along with context and expert commentary. The Atlas is an effective new tool for understanding these trends and for advocating an increased commitment to eye health. 

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Advocacy/Vision 2020


October 26, 2017 ICO Member ICO Global Call to Action: Corneal Tissue for Ocular Transplant

The newly released ICO Position Statement on Corneal Tissue for Ocular Transplant actively promotes national sustainable self-sufficient practice and policy in relation to quality and safety, procedure, procurement, processing, and equitable distribution of human corneal tissue.

The ICO, Cornea Society, and Global Alliance of Eye Bank Associations encourage ophthalmologists, eye banks, Ministries of Health, clinical service providers, and non-governmental advocacy groups to support this call to action by sharing the ICO Position Statement on Corneal Tissue for Ocular Transplant through your website, social media outlets, newsletters, or any other means to raise awareness of this important issue.

Together, we can further advocate, influence, and have a strong positive impact on eye health both locally and globally.

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October 26, 2017 WOC2018: Abstract Submission Deadline: Friday, 1 December 2017

The Scientific Program Committee is accepting online submission of abstracts at for presentation at the 2018 World Ophthalmology Congress® (WOC) of the International Council of Ophthalmology, 16–19 June 2018, in Barcelona, Spain.

The WOC Submitted Program will consist of Free Papers, E-Posters, E-Videos, Instruction Courses, and Poster Pods in 20 subspecialty areas. There will be 48 Free Paper sessions, 60 submitted instruction Courses, and an E-Poster and E-Video viewing area scheduled all 4 days of the Congress.

Abstracts may be submitted in English or Spanish, and the deadline for submission is 1 December 2017. Primary authors will be notified if their abstracts have been accepted by late February 2018. Submit your WOC2018 abstract now.

Invited speakers are also reminded to register for WOC2018 by 1 November 2017. Visit for more details and to take advantage of early-bird rates.

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World Ophthalmology Congress

October 26, 2017 New ICO-Allergan 1-Year Research Fellowship

The ICO-Allergan Research Fellowship allows the best young ophthalmologists (basic or clinical) from both high and low-resource countries to continue research in one of eight subspecialties at the university of his or her choice, preferably in another country. 

  • The fellowship covers one year of research in cornea, dry eye, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, pediatric ophthalmology, retina, tumors, and uveitis. 
  • One fellowship is awarded per year, with a US$50,000 stipend. 
  • The deadline to apply is 15 January 2018. The ICO-Allergan Research Fellow will be chosen and notified at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology meeting 29 April–3 May 2018, in Honolulu, Hawaii, and will be officially announced at the World Ophthalmology Congress in Barcelona, Spain, 16–19 June 2018.

This new opportunity comes on the heels of the World Sight Day milestone announcement that the ICO and valued partners have provided more than 1,000 fellowships to ophthalmologists from 84 low-resource countries. Learn more about the ICO-Allergan Research Fellowship and other ICO Fellowships opportunities.

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October 26, 2017 ICO Medical Education for Ophthalmology Training

The July 2017 edition of Annals of Eye Science focuses on medical education for ophthalmology training, and addresses medical educational principles and changes that have occurred over the past two decades.

ICO Director of Education, Dr. Karl Golnik, was an invited editor for the special issue. Articles include: “Presenting with Credibility” by Dr. Ana Gabriela Palis, “The Fallacy of the Traditional Classroom” by Dr. Eduardo Mayorga, “Workplace-Based Assessments” and “Program Accreditation” by Dr. Golnik, and “Continuing Professional Development: Progress Beyond Continuing Medical Education” by Dr. Helena Felipe, Dr. Heather Mack, and Dr. Golnik.

Read the issue at:

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October 26, 2017 World Diabetes Day: 14 November 2017

The impact of diabetes on women is substantial and, in recognition, “Women and Diabetes––Our Right to a Healthy Future” is the theme of World Diabetes Day (WDD) on 14 November 2017.

Learn more about WDD, access resources, and find out what you can do about this escalating health threat by going to: An additional resource for ophthalmologists and eye care providers in low- and high-resource areas is the ICO Guidelines for Diabetic Eye Care, which was updated this year.

The International Diabetes Federation––the organization behind WDD––will be holding their annual congress in Abu Dhabi 4–8 December 2017, and representatives of the ICO will be in attendance. Find information and register, at:

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Diabetic Eye Care

October 26, 2017 MICEI Celebrates World Sight Day in Cameroon

The Magrabi–ICO Cameroon Eye Institute (MICEI) in Yaoundé, Cameroon––the only regional subspecialty training center in Francophone Africa––hosted World Sight Day festivities on 12 October 2017, with more than 150 guests in attendance.

The celebratory event––presided over by the Minister of Health and the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Health––included: 

  • Presentation of a World Sight Day awareness song, written and performed by MICEI staff member, Ms. Nassang Mimba. 
  • Donation of a children’s book to Yaoundé orphans that addresses preventive eye care, given by the book’s author, Dr. Kenneth Youngstein, founder and chief executive officer of Biocom, an Orbis partner. 
  • Donation of five laptop computers with the “Active Communication Training Simulator” to improve MICEI staff communication with patient families, Institute partners, and government officials, donated by simulator developer, Dr. Kenneth Youngstein. 
  • An Orbis Flying Eye Hospital Training of Trainers course for the wet lab and training of orthoptists. Trainees included three MICEI staff members, professors from two of Cameroon’s Universities, and eye care providers from public hospitals.

Learn more about the MICEI at:

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Regional Training Centers


October 26, 2017 ICO Member ICO Member Society Spotlight: Malaysian Ophthalmology Society

The Malaysian Society of Ophthalmology (MSO) represents nearly 700 ophthalmologists in Malaysia. Active and expanding, MSO efforts to improve eye health include: 

Learn more about the MSO at:

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ICO Membership

October 25, 2017 Join Us: New Orleans Conference for Ophthalmic Educators 11 November 2017

We look forward to seeing you at the Conference for Ophthalmic Educators "Improving Teaching Effectiveness" on Saturday, 11 November 2017, from 14:00–17:30, during the American Academy of Ophthalmology's (AAO) Annual Meeting in New Orleans, USA.

The workshops and plenary will cover topics not offered before at Conferences at the AAO meeting:

Workshops (opportunity to attend 2) 

  • Expanding the Education Division in Your Department: Working with Limited Resources 
  • Technology-Assisted Teaching 
  • The Roles and Competencies of a Good Teacher 
  • Types of Written Assessments: Examples and When to Use Each 
  • How to Organize a Successful Clinical Exam 
  • The Elements of Thought: Helping Your Residents Think Critically


  • The Global Spectrum of ICO Education Activities

The Conference for Ophthalmic Educators is open to all AAO registrants at no additional charge and is for anyone interested in education or in improving their own teaching.

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October 25, 2017 Presentation Skills Course at AAO

The ICO co-sponsored course, “Presentation Skills: How to Improve the Effectiveness of Lectures” will be held during the AAO meeting on Sunday, 12 November, 14:00–15:00 in Morial Convention Center Room 340-341.

This course intends to increase participants' skills to make lectures more engaging, active, and effective. Participants will consider how to apply adult learning principles to create meaningful presentations, organize content logically, design slides clearly, and present in an interesting, interactive way.

An AAO Course Pass is required to attend this course.

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October 25, 2017 New ICO-OSCAR Translations in Thai and Spanish

The ICO-Ophthalmology Surgical Competency Assessment Rubrics (ICO-OSCARs) are behavioral and skill-based rubrics designed to teach and assess an ophthalmologist’s surgical competence. Educators use the rubrics to measure the resident’s capability in performing a specific procedure objectively. They also give learners tools to better gauge their own effectiveness.

The ICO-OSCAR for vitrectomy has been translated into Spanish by Dr. Susana Cura.

The ICO-OSCARs for phacoemulsification, extracapsular cataract extraction, and pediatric cataract have been translated into Thai by Dr. Thachpacha Kaseewat.

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October 25, 2017 New ICO-OSCAR for Trabeculectomy

We are excited to announce that a new ICO-OSCAR for Trabeculectomy was published in the September 2017 issue of the Journal of Glaucoma.

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October 25, 2017 Journal: Educación Médica

The journal, Educación Médica, publishes articles in Spanish and English, and covers all aspects of health sciences education, such as lesson planning and curriculum development, educational resources, teaching methodology, educational techniques, teacher accreditation, learning styles, outcomes, evaluation, etc.

La revista Educación Médica es una revista científica de periodicidad trimestral, que publica artículos en español y en inglés, y que considerará para su publicación aquellos trabajos relacionados con la educación en las Ciencias de la Salud en todos sus aspectos: la planificación docente y el desarrollo de la docencia; los recursos educativos; la metodología docente; las técnicas educativas; la acreditación docente; los estilos de aprendizaje; los resultados; la evaluación; etc.

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October 25, 2017 Chiefs’ Rounds from Wills Eye Hospital

View recorded “Chiefs’ Rounds” from Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, USA online, where residents present two mystery cases to the Service Chiefs and Attending Physicians.

The case-based learning experience is designed as an ongoing update for practicing ophthalmologists engaged in comprehensive and subspecialty practice, as well as for ophthalmologists in training.

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October 25, 2017 Retinal Disease: Latest Methods in Diagnosis and Treatment for Clinical Practice

This self-paced, online course from University College London aims to advance knowledge and understanding of the most current methods for diagnosis and treatment of retinal disease.

The course focuses on clinical diagnosis, interpretation of current imaging techniques, and up-to-date clinical guidelines and studies, and is appropriate for ophthalmologists, doctors working with retinal patients, and allied medical professionals.

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Retina and Vitreous

October 25, 2017 App: 9 Gaze
The iOS app, 9 Gaze, documents eye motility and strabismus in the nine cardinal positions of gaze. The app provides an on-screen guide for eye positioning to assist with image consistency and automatically creates a composite image of the photographs for easy exporting.
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October 25, 2017 Technology Blog: Narrated Feedback for Assessment
The Technology for Teaching and Learning blog discusses using narrated feedback as an alternative to written or in-person feedback. This method can save time for the reviewers while facilitating the richness of detail experienced in face to face interactions.
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October 25, 2017 Ophthalmology Teacher’s Library: Progress Beyond Continuing Medical Education

The Ophthalmology Teacher’s Library blog recommends the Annals of Eye Science article, “Continuing Professional Development: Progress Beyond Continuing Medical Education,” by Drs. Helena Prior Filipe, Heather Mack, and Karl Golnik.

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October 5, 2017 ICO WORLD Meeting in New Orleans: Confronting Leadership Challenges One Conversation at a Time

Can you enhance your communication skills to better meet your goals? “Confronting Leadership Challenges One Conversation at a Time” will be the topic of a robust discussion at the ICO’s World Ophthalmology Roundtable on Leadership Development (WORLD) at the American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting in New Orleans, USA.

WORLD topics and speakers include: 

  • Leadership Happens One Conversation at a Time: Jon Rivas, Master Facilitator, Fierce Conversations, Inc. 
  • Specific Leadership Challenges in Ophthalmology: Dr. Liana Bruno, President, Fundação Altino Ventura, Brazil.

WORLD will take place at the Louisiana Ballroom, Loews Hotel on Saturday, 11 November from 12:00 to 13:45. A light lunch will be served at 11:30.

View the WORLD agenda.

Register for WORLD, a free and interactive event.

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Leadership Development/WORLD

October 5, 2017 ICO Ophthalmic Educator Sessions at the AAO Annual Meeting

In addition to the WORLD meeting, if you are attending the American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting 11–14 November 2017, in New Orleans, USA, please join us at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center for the following ICO sponsored and co-sponsored sessions: 

  • Conference for Ophthalmic Educators: Improving Teaching Effectiveness (SYM05): Saturday, 11 November, 14:00–17:30, Room 346-347.
    Open to all AAO registrants at no cost, the Conference is for those interested in education or in improving their own teaching. Tentative workshops include:

- Expanding the Education Division in Your Department: Working with Limited Resources
- Technology-Assisted Teaching
- The Roles and Competencies of a Good Teacher
- Types of Written Assessments: Examples and When to Use Each
- The Elements of Thought: Helping Your Residents Think Critically.

  • The Impact of International Council of Ophthalmology Examinations in Latin America (P0116): Sunday, 12 November, 12:45–13:45, Hall C, Presenting Author: Dr. Juan Batlle.
    The ICO Examinations were first offered in Latin America in 1995, and by 2015, a total of 600 exams in 12 languages were taken in the region. The ICO Exams are a proven asset for residency training programs, and passage can be a prerequisite for certification by national ophthalmologic societies and boards. 
  • Presentation Skills; How to Improve the Effectiveness of Your Lectures (248): Sunday, 12 November, 14:00–15:00, Room 340-341, Instructors: Drs. Ana Gabriela Palis and Peter Quiros.
    This course will increase participants’ skills in making presentations more engaging and effective. Participants will be able to (1) apply the adult learning principles involved in meaningful presentations, (2) organize content logically, (3) design clear and adequate slides, and (4) present in an interesting, interactive way.

ICO Booth at the AAO
When you are in the Exhibition Hall at the Convention Center, be sure to stop by the ICO Booth #4730/4732 in Hall D-1 and learn more about our Exams, Education, Fellowships, ICOFoundation, and the World Ophthalmology Congress (WOC2018).

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