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ICO Insight - September 2020

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Celebrating World Sight Day on 8 October 2020

Held annually on the second Thursday of October, World Sight Day focuses global attention on eye health, prevention of avoidable blindness and vision impairment, and vision rehabilitation.

"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," said Dr. Ivo Kocur, ICO Chief Executive Officer and contributor to the World Report on Vision. [Photo: Left, during the launch of the World Report on Vision at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in November of 2019].

To help you plan activities and communications around World Sight Day, please see the WHO resources listed below.

  • World Report on Vision is directed at eye care decision and policymakers, eye care providers, and civil society organizations to support their efforts to reduce the burden of eye conditions and vision loss.
  • WHO eye health resources succinctly and effectively communicate the latest global eye health facts and statistics.

The ICO Welcomes the European Glaucoma Society as a New Member

[Photo: Prof. David Garway-Heath, President, European Glaucoma Society]

The ICO welcomes the European Glaucoma Society (EGS) to our member network. Under the leadership of EGS President, Prof. David (Ted) Garway-Heath, the mission of the EGS is to promote the best possible well-being and minimal glaucoma-induced visual disability in individuals with glaucoma within an affordable healthcare system. Prof. Garway-Heath commented that "The EGS is delighted to join the ICO global network of ophthalmologists to share experience and contribute to best practices in eye care and education worldwide."

The EGS supports educational programs, holds subspecialty examinations, provides fellowship grants, and hosts the biennial EGS Congress. This year the EGS will celebrate its 40th Anniversary during the 14th EGS Congress, scheduled to take place 13-15 December 2020 in Brussels, Belgium.

The EGS is well known for its Terminology and Guidelines for Glaucoma, an evidence-based manual for glaucoma care translated into 12 languages. The 5th edition is about to be released.

"The ICO extends a very warm welcome to the EGS and congratulates the EGS on their 40th anniversary of exemplary contributions to education and patient care," said Prof. Neeru Gupta, MD, PhD, MBA, Interim President International Council of Ophthalmology.

To learn more visit the EGS website.

Last Chance to View All WOC2020 Sessions

The ICO thanks our 182 Member societies for making WOC2020 Virtual? such a great success! All live and on-demand sessions are available until 30 September 2020 in case you have missed sessions and would like to come back for more.

Access the program.

1 European CME credit (ECMEC?) is granted for every hour of actual e-learning.

Claim your CME Credits and obtain your Certificate of Attendance.

ICO World Ophthalmology Leaders Program a Success

 [Left Video: Day 1 of Program; Right Video: Day 2 of Program]

The International Council of Ophthalmology launched its World Ophthalmology Leaders Program on 15-16 August in collaboration with the All India Ophthalmological Society, with dedicated efforts from Prof. S. Natarajan, ICO Board member.

"Leadership Beyond Borders" was an exciting 2-day virtual event that brought together 15,000 ophthalmologists from around the world to enhance personal leadership skills, management, and professional growth.

The ICO thanks all of our internationally renowned experts and speakers who shared experience and insights into leadership skills tackling personal and team management, building a positive and motivating work environment, mental health and strength, and silent leadership. Topics also included empathy and patient communication skills in order to build high-quality patient-centered eye care services.

See the full list of speakers.

In case you missed it, visit Youtube to watch the full program.

Congratulations to Women in Ophthalmology

[Photo: Left, Prof. Erin M. Shriver, President of Women in Ophthalmology; Right, Prof. Neeru Gupta, ICO Interim President, 2020 WIO President''s Award Recipient]

Women in Ophthalmology (WIO) was founded to enhance and improve the professional environment for women ophthalmologists. WIO encourages diversity, impartiality, and economic parity, and strive to cultivate new opportunities for leadership, education, and public service in the field of ophthalmology for women ophthalmologists, both nationally and internationally.

Women in Ophthalmology recently hosted their 2020 Virtual WIO Summer Symposium on 21-23 August which was their highest attended meeting to date with 750 registrants from 15 countries.

The 2020 President's Award was bestowed upon Prof. Neeru Gupta, ICO Interim President, by WIO President, Prof. Erin Shriver. This award is given by the President of WIO to honor an individual who is a leader in ophthalmology and who has contributed to the profession as an educator, researcher, or humanitarian. Prof. Gupta''s Honorary Lecture explained her pioneering glaucoma surgical technique to address the leaking bleb Minimally Invasive Conjunctival Surgery (MICS)

All live session content is available to view on-demand through 23 September and CME credits can be claimed through 23 October. Please visit the CME page on the virtual platform for more information.

Learn more about Women in Ophthalmology by visiting

Don''t Miss the Royal College of Ophthalmologists Virtual COVID-19 Conference on 20 October 2020

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) will host a virtual conference on COVID-19 and Ophthalmology on 20 October 2020. Content will include lectures and discussions on restarting services, operating theatre pathways, the impact on training, home testing, digital innovations, and the physical effects of the virus on the eye. Current ophthalmic services and how they may be run in the future will be covered. All content will remain available until 20 January 2021.

Learn more at

The World Glaucoma Association is Ready to Launch a New Initiative

Coming soon to your screen; new ways of facilitating knowledge sharing and networking. With a fresh launch, WGA seeks to stir waves of excitement within the global glaucoma community.

Stay tuned to the WGA website as more details will be posted in the coming week.

American Academy of Ophthalmology Meeting Goes Virtual

[Photo: Anne L. Coleman, MD, PhD, President of American Academy of Ophthalmology]

The American Academy of Ophthalmology''s annual meeting is now fully online! Join them 13-15 November for AAO 2020 Virtual, where all of ophthalmology meets? for lively discussions, clinical pearls, fun activities, and live interaction with presenters and industry.

View 100 hours of live broadcast content then access 700 additional hours of on-demand content in the virtual meeting platform through 15 February 2021. Register before Wednesday, 23 September, to be entered into a raffle. Twelve lucky winners will be chosen at the end of September to receive exciting prizes such as 2021 Academy member dues, a hotel room for AAO 2021 in New Orleans, or registration for Subspecialty Day 2021.

Read more about additional items of interest.

Register at

The Emirates Society of Ophthalmology Announces Their Next Meeting

[Photos: Left to right: Dr. Saleh Saif Al Messabi, President; Dr. Sheikha Noura Al Qassimi, Vice-President; Dr. Khaled Abuhaleeqa, General Secretary; Dr. Omnia Hamam, Chair, Scientific Committee; Dr. Maysoon Al Karam, Chair, Cultural Committee]

The Emirates Society of Ophthalmology (ESO) was formed by pioneering United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ophthalmologists as a society within the Emirates Medical Association.

Under the leadership of Dr. Saleh Saif Al Messabi, ESO President, the ESO is responsible for supervising and conducting scientific training, events, and conferences as well as collaborating with health organizations. As the foremost society for Ophthalmology in UAE, the ESO aims to assure the provision of optimal eye care by promoting excellence in ophthalmology and by providing services to support their members in practice.

The ESO Conference is recognized as the forerunner amongst educational, scientific, and networking meetings for the ophthalmology community in the Middle East and attended by over 1,000 delegates. The 19th Emirates Society of Ophthalmology Conference will take place 28-30 October 2021.

Learn more about the Emirates Society of Ophthalmology by visiting

In Memoriam, Dr. Samira Mohd Ibrahim, President of Sudanese Ophthalmological Society

The ICO announces with great sadness the loss of Dr. Samira M. Ibrahim on 13 September 2020. A friend and colleague, Dr. Samira M. Ibrahim was a highly respected leader and made significant contributions to the Sudanese and international ophthalmology communities. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and to our colleagues. Dr. Samira M. Ibrahim will be greatly missed.

Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology Publishes COVID-19 Guidelines

Ophthalmologists are at a higher risk of COVID-19 infection due to close contact between doctors and patients, microaerosols generated by the noncontact tonometer, tears as a potential source of infection, and COVID-19 cases that may present with conjunctivitis.

To mitigate the risks of contracting and/or spreading COVID-19 in ophthalmic practices, the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology has published ocular manifestations of COVID-19 and the APAO guidelines.

COVID-19: Ocular Manifestations and the APAO Prevention Guidelines for Ophthalmic Practices, Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology, July-August 2020.

Thank you to all of our ICO Member societies who have shared resources via the ICO Global COVID-19 Resource Center.

Please email new society guidelines, statements, and recommendations to

Conjunctivitis May Be a Warning Sign Before COVID-19 Symptoms

Read more for a systematic review of clinical and prodromal ocular symptoms in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Clinical and Prodromal Ocular Symptoms in Coronavirus Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, August 2020.

60 Minutes with Eye Health Hero, Prof. Gullapalli Nag Rao

During this Eye to I interview, former ICO Board member, Prof. G. Nag Rao, Founder and Chair of the L.V. Prasad Institute, Hyderabad, India inspires us all to do more.

Share Your Society''s Latest News and Events

The ICO looks forward to receiving news and events from our Member societies to share with our global network at

International Council of Ophthalmology

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