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Fifteen Years of ICO Fellowships - Program Report

The ICO Fellowships Program helps promising young ophthalmologists from developing countries improve their practical skills… More »


The ICO Celebrates 160 Years

On 13 September 2017, the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) marked 160 years working to improve eye health… More »


ICO Guide to Effective CPD/CME

The ICO Guide to Effective CPD/CME is a new, practical resource covering concepts and questions regarding continuing… More »

Showing 1-20 of 72
Date ICO Member Headline Topic Subspecialty Region
July 11, 2018 ICO Member 146 Countries Work to Advance Eye Health at WOC2018

The International Council of Ophthalmology would like to thank everyone who traveled to Barcelona, Spain to take part in our World Ophthalmology Congress® (WOC2018).

We welcomed 8,000 ophthalmologists from 146 countries who participated in more than 350 educational sessions, covering all subspecialties and related interests in ophthalmology. The scientific program was organized by Scientific Program Chair Dr. Clement C.Y. Tham and made possible through the invaluable contributions of the Scientific Program Committee and Coordinators, Chairs, and speakers.

Thank you to the Spanish Society of Ophthalmology for hosting WOC2018, and the European Society of Ophthalmology and Spanish Society of Implant-Refractive Ocular Surgery for co-hosting the Congress in partnership with the Catalan Society of Ophthalmology and the Barraquer Institute.

View photos from WOC2018.

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July 11, 2018 ICO Member The Global Alliance of Eye Bank Associations signed a framework for ethical use of human eye tissue at WOC2018.

A landmark accord on the ethical use of human eye tissue was signed at the 2018 World Ophthalmology Congress in Spain. The Barcelona Principles outline the ethical use of donated human tissue for ocular transplantation, research, and future technologies.

Developed in coordination with 102 individuals representing 89 nations, the Barcelona Principles encompass consent, donation, and equitable allocation of ocular tissue. It is intended to build eye-banking services and meet the needs of millions of people requiring corneal surgery, without compromising the moral conduct of the donor, the recipient, or the extended community.

A collaboration of Australian eye banking organizations spearheaded creation of this worldwide first, which offers recommendations on areas of ethical ambiguity, such as profitization and supply chains, the global movement of eye tissue, and partnering with colleagues across borders.

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World Ophthalmology Congress

July 11, 2018 ICO Member WOC2018 Medal Recipients

The Opening Ceremony officially marked the beginning of WOC2018 and included welcome remarks from WOC2018 President Dr. Rafael Barraquer, the ICO, and the Spanish Society of Ophthalmology. Attendees enjoyed videos showcasing the wonders of our profession and the history of ophthalmology in Spain.

The Opening Ceremony also celebrated achievements of our colleagues who were honored for their outstanding work: 

  • Gonin Medal: Jean-Jacques DeLaey, MD, PhD (Belgium) 
  • International Duke Elder Medal: Rubens Belfort, Jr., MD, PhD, MBA (Brazil) 
  • ICO Ophthalmic Pathology Award: Sarah Coupland, MBBS, PhD, FRCPath, FARVO, FSB (United Kingdom) 
  • G.O.H Naumann Award for Leadership in Global Eye Care Commission: Abdulaziz AlRajhi, MD (Saudi Arabia) 
  • Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Bernardo Streiff Medal: Paul Lichter, MD (United States)

Thank you to everyone who joined us in-person for the WOC2018 Opening Ceremony or who watched via the live stream on Facebook. Watch a recorded version of the Opening Ceremony.

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World Ophthalmology Congress

July 11, 2018 ICO Member Participants of the AOC-ICO Summit Meeting at WOC2018

Presidents and leaders of 23 ophthalmologic societies in Sub-Saharan Africa came together at the African Ophthalmology Council (AOC)/ICO Summit on 15 June during WOC2018 to consider how to better serve ophthalmologists and enhance eye health in Africa.

Topics included the needs of the public related to eye health, the needs of ophthalmologists and ophthalmologic societies, and society development in Sub-Saharan Africa. The role of the AOC and objectives for African ophthalmological societies were discussed, as was WOC2020, which will take place 26–29 June 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa.

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World Ophthalmology Congress


July 11, 2018 ICO Member ICO-Allergan Advanced Research Fellowship Accepting Applications

The ICO-Allergan Advanced Research Fellowship is now open to ophthalmologists worldwide who are under age 40. The one-year, $US 50,000 research fellowship offers applicants the opportunity to continue their research at a chosen university, preferably in a different country than where they currently live.

We are pleased to share that the 2017/18 ICO-Allergan Advanced Research Fellowship was awarded to Dr. Emilio de Almeida Torres Netto, Brazil, to support his research project, “Factors modulating the biomechanics of corneal tissue.” Watch this short video of Dr. Torres at WOC2018 explaining his research.

Apply for the 2018/19 ICO-Allergan Advanced Research Fellowship in cornea, dry eye, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, pediatric ophthalmology, retina, tumors, and uveitis.

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ICO International Fellowships

World Ophthalmology Congress

July 11, 2018 ICO Member Earn CME Credits after the Congress

WOC2018 was filled with so many opportunities to learn. We are pleased to offer WOC2018 OnDemand which provides access to more than 500 hours of recorded Congress presentations. Watch at your convenience and earn CME credits from your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Purchase WOC2018 OnDemand

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World Ophthalmology Congress

July 11, 2018 ICO Member Register Now for WOC2020 and Save!

The World Ophthalmology Congress® is the premier international ophthalmic meeting. Be sure to mark your calendars and join us for WOC2020 in Cape Town, South Africa, and WOC2022 in Melbourne Australia.

WOC2020: Cape Town, South Africa
26–29 June 2020

Register now for WOC2020 and receive a greatly reduced rate that is only available through 31 July 2018.

WOC2020 will be hosted by the Ophthalmological Society of South Africa (OSSA), with the African Ophthalmology Council (AOC) and Middle East Africa Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO) as co-hosts. Kgaogelo “Eddie” Legodi, MD, will serve as President of WOC2020.

WOC2022: Melbourne, Australia
25–28 February 2022

WOC2022 will be hosted by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO). Mark Daniell, MB, BS, FRACS, will be WOC2022 President.

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World Ophthalmology Congress

July 11, 2018 ICO Member WOC2018 News Coverage

Throughout all four days of the Congress, EyeWorld provided daily news coverage. To read about the scientific program, cultural events, and interviews with many of the leading ophthalmologists, follow the links below:

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February 20, 2018 In Remembrance: Dr. Benjamin Boyd

The ICO is greatly saddened by the loss of Honorary Life Member Dr. Benjamin Boyd, who passed away at his home on 5 February 2018.

“I was delighted when I first met Ben and came to learn about his good humor and compassion,” says ICO President Prof. Hugh Taylor. “His presence, good judgment, and clarity have been missed in the recent years when he could no longer attend ICO Board meetings.”

Dr. Boyd joined the ICO in 1978 and received the International Duke Elder Medal in 1990. He served as Executive Director of the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology (PAAO) from 1960–1985 and was its President from 1985–1987. The PAAO’s Benjamin F. Boyd Humanitarian Award was created in 1987 to honor those who have substantially served the Americas to preserve and restore vision.

Dr. Boyd was a member of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis and a gifted editor. His publications include: The Definite History of the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology (1940-2001); Highlights of Ophthalmology 1962 (digitized in 2001); and Witness to History, 2009.

"This dear friend and giant leader in ophthalmology was unique in his commitment and capacity to lead and bring positive change. His legion of friends will grieve his passing," says ICO Past-President Dr. Bruce Spivey.

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February 20, 2018 Now Online: WOC2018 Invited Scientific Program

View the Invited Scientific Program for the 16–19 June 2018 World Ophthalmology Congress® (WOC) in Barcelona, Spain. With more than 350 scientific sessions to choose from, WOC2018 offers a vast array of opportunities to learn the latest advances in ophthalmology.

Over 2,500 ophthalmologists, subspecialists, and medical professionals will present educational sessions across 25 subspecialties and related topics at WOC2018.

Find sessions, topics, speakers, dates, times, and locations at: For more information, view the Invited Program pdf.

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World Ophthalmology Congress

February 20, 2018 WOC2018 “Late-Breaking News” Abstracts Accepted 15–29 March

“Late-Breaking News” abstracts for the World Ophthalmology Congress® (WOC) will be accepted 15–29 March 2018.

“Late-Breaking News” abstracts highlight results from rapidly advancing investigations that may have only recently become available. Submissions should present novel and substantive studies of high impact that will further enrich the 16–19 June WOC2018 in Barcelona, Spain.

Find the “Late-Breaking News” abstract submission form in the Submitted Program section of the WOC2018 website, and email your completed form to: Submissions received before 15 March or after 29 March will not be considered. Authors will be notified about the status of their abstract by 26 April 2018.

“Late-Breaking News” abstracts are not a second deadline for regular abstract submissions, and revisions to previously rejected abstracts will not be considered. 

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February 20, 2018 Cataract Surgery and Its Impact on Environmental Sustainability

The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) Environmental Sustainability Work Group is tackling issues related to the degradation of the environment and its impact on health and safety, and the group will offer a “Masterclass in Environmental Sustainability” at the 2018 World Ophthalmology Congress® in Barcelona, Spain.

Surgical systems in most developed countries––in particular, their use of materials––are unsustainable, finds Dr. Cassandra Thiel and her IAPB Work Group co-authors in their article, “Cataract surgery and environmental sustainability: Waste and lifecycle assessment of phacoemulsification at a private healthcare facility,” published in the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.

The article’s results show that ophthalmologists can reduce emissions and materials use by following the model of the Aravind Eye Care System in southern India––a recognized resource-efficient setting.

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February 20, 2018 Campaign Addresses the Global Eye Needs of Children

To accelerate and expand access to eye health services for children, the Brien Holden Vision Institute launched the Our Children’s Vision initiative, a call to action.

Amassing over 70 partners in approximately 60 countries since its 2016 start, the campaign reached more than 10 million children in its first year alone. The initiative aspires to provide eye care to 50 million children globally by 2020.

Our Children’s Vision addresses the worldwide impact of conditions like myopia and other refractive errors, and is focused on influencing national policy to ensure development of a long-term sustainable solution to children’s eye health. The initiative is working toward improved services, awareness, research, and advocacy through strong partnerships with organizations, governments, and societies, including the International Council of Ophthalmology. Find out more.

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February 20, 2018 Educators Stay Connected and Informed

The ICO is committed to improving the quality of ophthalmic training. In support of this goal, the ICO offers educators resources and tools to stay abreast of new information. 

  • The Center for Ophthalmic Educators is a key component of the ICO’s educator program, offering an array of educational tools for teachers of residents, medical students, subspecialty fellows, practicing ophthalmologists, and allied ophthalmic personnel. Educators can also share ideas and collaborate with peers through the Center’s discussion forums. 
  • The monthly Ophthalmic Educators Letter highlights valuable resources and tools, courses, upcoming events for teachers, and other relevant news. Sign up for the Ophthalmic Educators Letter
  • The ICO Ophthalmic Educators Group (ICO-OEG) provides a platform for collaboration, networking, and professional development for everyone interested in ophthalmic education.

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February 20, 2018 ICO Member Societies: A Global Network in Francophone Africa

Further connecting the world’s ophthalmologists, the ICO proudly welcomes the Société Africaine Francophone d'Ophtalmologie (SAFO) and eight other societies from Sub-Saharan Africa as ICO Member societies.

SAFO was created at a 1992 meeting in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, by ophthalmologists from French-speaking countries of West Africa. Under the SAFO regional umbrella, the following national societies have also joined the ICO alliance for sight: 

  • Benin Society of Ophthalmology (SBO) 
  • Burkina Faso Society of Ophthalmology (BSO) 
  • Gabon Society of Ophthalmology (SGO) 
  • Ivory Coast Society of Ophthalmology (SIO) 
  • Mali Society of Ophthalmology (SOMAO) 
  • Niger Society of Ophthalmology (SNO) 
  • Senegal Society of Ophthalmology (SSO) 
  • Togo Society of Ophthalmology (STO)

Ressources pour les enseignants
For ophthalmologists and educators in Francophone Africa and elsewhere, the ICO offers numerous resources translated into French, including: 

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ICO Membership

February 20, 2018 Submit Your Papers for WHO World Report on Vision by 15 March

The Bulletin of the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for papers for an upcoming theme issue on vision. The deadline for submission is 15 March 2018.

WHO’s World Report on Vision will focus on “what works” and provide authoritative evidence on the magnitude of global vision loss, as well as its prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation. Submitted papers should: 

  • Provide evidence across all health strategies (eg, promotion, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation) 
  • Focus on best practices, innovation, and the use of technology 
  • Identify gaps and provide solutions to ensure equitable access 
  • Integrate examples from low- and middle-income countries and different age groups 
  • Address health system issues, rather than focusing solely on one specific disease or condition.

Get more information about the World Report on Vision.

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February 20, 2018 ICO Exams and Fellowships

More than 30,000 ophthalmologists have taken 52,000 ICO Examinations at over 120 exam centers worldwide, and more than 1,000 ICO Fellowships have been granted to ophthalmologists from low-resource countries.

Watch this short video featuring Dr. Luis Amaya, ICO Examinations Committee Member and Clinical Sciences Exam Section Leader, and learn how the ICO's Exams and Fellowships are serving to improve eye care around the world.

The 31 March application deadline for three-month and six-month ICO Fellowships is fast approaching. The next opportunity to apply for three-month and six-month fellowships, as well as one-year fellowships, will be 30 September 2018. Apply now.

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ICO Examinations

ICO International Fellowships

February 25, 2018 Register for the 10th Eyexcel 16–20 July 2018

The ICO is pleased to announce its tenth year co-sponsoring the Eyexcel course along with the Lions Aravind Institute of Community Ophthalmology (LAICO) and the Seva Foundation. Eyexcel facilitates the creation or enhancement of ophthalmic training programs––ultimately increasing the availability of eye care.

This year’s Eyexcel course, “Expanding Global Eye Care Workforce through Excellence in Training,” will take place 16–20 July 2018 at the LAICO facility in Madurai, India.

The 2018 course will focus primarily on allied ophthalmic personnel training needs. Participants will define the skills their students require for eye health care responsibilities. The Eyexcel course will focus on producing specific teaching and assessment methods, program evaluation, and sustainability.

Many of the resources covered at Eyexcel are available in the ICO’s Center for Ophthalmic Educators under “What to Teach” for Allied Eye Care Personnel.

The course is open to teams from anywhere around the world. Course size is limited, and the deadline for registration is 5 July 2018. To learn more about Eyexcel, see the course description (page pending updates for 2018). For additional information contact Ms. Dhivya Ramasamy at:

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Education Initiatives

February 25, 2018 Online Course Opens 23 March: Learning and Teaching Critical Thinking

A new online course organized by the International Council of Ophthalmology will open for registration 23 March: 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.

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February 25, 2018 ICO Collaboration with the University of Utah’s Moran Eye Center

To support ophthalmic learning worldwide, the ICO and the University of Utah’s John A. Moran Eye Center are collaborating on Moran’s global teaching portal–Clinical Ophthalmology Resource for Education (CORE) International.

CORE is a collection of ophthalmic education resources and is intended to be a boundary-free, permanent learning and reference tool, at no cost to the user. The portal now closely maps the ICO Residency Curriculum offering residents, no matter their country, access to lectures related to specific curriculum goals for every year of their ophthalmology residency. CORE and the ICO are also collecting additional lectures, videos, and resources to further support the education of residents.

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