World Alliance for Sight

For more than 100 years, the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) has led efforts to improve ophthalmic education and eye care by collaborating with other ophthalmologic societies, eye care organizations, and teaching programs.  We are a unique organization of ophthalmologic societies with a collective imperative to improve ophthalmologic education and access to quality eye care worldwide.

The ICO’s increased undertakings in recent years prompted the Board of Trustees to define a new Strategic Plan, which begins with the ICO’s mission and then outlines strategies to reach the following four major goals.

I. Ophthalmic Education: Our goal is to enhance the training and continuing education of ophthalmologists and allied eye care professionals to meet the growing need for eye care worldwide.

The ICO works to improve ophthalmic education mainly by “teaching the teachers”—offering conferences, courses, curricula, online resources, and the ICO Center for Ophthalmic Educators to anyone involved in ophthalmic education. We work to teach the teachers about best educational practices and help them enhance their programs on a worldwide basis. 

II. Eve Care Delivery: Our goal is to integrate ophthalmology and eye care into the larger health care system, with eye care teams focused on meeting the needs of the public in their communities.

The ICO believes that ophthalmology should lead the effort to prevent blindness worldwide. To that end, it works closely with the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), and other organizations to increase support for the prevention of blindness and vision loss.

Additionally, to help generate financing and other support for eye care, the ICO offers tools and strategies to ICO Member society "Advocates" and others interested in advocacy.

III. Society and Leadership Development: Our goal is to strengthen international ophthalmology by fostering and facilitating the development of ophthalmologic societies and leaders who will work with the ICO and each other effectively across borders and cultures to enhance eye care worldwide.

The ICO collaborates with other ophthalmologic societies, eye care organizations, and teaching programs to help those associations develop effective leaders and organizations. Creating the infrastructure for collaboration empowers societies by allowing them to better manage resources and share best practices.

IV. ICO Organizational Development: Our goal is to develop the governance, organizational structure, and financial resources needed for the ICO to be self-sustaining, fulfill its mission and achieve its long-range goals and objectives.


Your financial contribution supports International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) programs to enhance education and eye care and to preserve and restore vision worldwide.


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