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ICO Insight: Global Efforts to Tackle COVID-19

View the ICO's recent special COVID-19 isssue of our ICO Insight Newsletter. More »


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Date ICO Member Headline Topic Subspecialty Region
March 27, 2020 ICO Global COVID-19 Resource Center

Welcome to the ICO Global COVID-19 Resource Center. 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 Center. 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 Academy of Ophthalmology
The AAO is sharing important ophthalmology-specific COVID-19 updates relating to non-urgent and urgent patient care. AAO COVID-19 Recommendations
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 30, 2020 ICO Insight: Global Efforts to Tackle COVID-19
View the ICO's recent special COVID-19 isssue of our ICO Insight Newsletter.
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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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July 1, 2020 ICO Makes History with WOC2020 Virtual® Bringing Together Over 7,600 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 7,600 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.

Through 30 September 2020, the entire WOC2020 Virtual® scientific program will continue to be accessible. Delegates can also continue to tour the virtual exhibition and connect with industry experts. If you haven’t registered yet and are wondering what all the fuss is about, you can still register. We invite you to access over 2,000 presentations from WOC2020 Virtual®, covering new ideas, treatment strategies, updates on clinical diagnoses and management, and much much more. All at your own pace from the comfort of your home. Register now.

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

Revenues from the World Ophthalmology Congress® support International Council of Ophthalmology programs dedicated to ophthalmic education, eye care delivery, and leadership and society development in low-resource settings.

The next World Ophthalmology Congress, WOC2022®, will take place in Melbourne Australia on 25–28 February 2022. Stay tuned to and sign up for updates for the latest information on that upcoming Congress.

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