Quality of Life

Improved vision helps children to learn more easily, adults to move with less assistance, communities to prosper, and regions to develop.

The world is increasingly interdependent.  One individual's success or failure can affect a society on the other side of the globe.  The International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) works with regional organizations around the world to lower the economic and social burden of vision loss.

The ICO is actively working with international-ophthalmology organizations to address ophthalmological issues that burden healthcare systems around the world.

Working to Prevent, Screen, and Treat Diabetic Retinopathy
Studies show that the number of people with diabetes (diabetic retinopathy) is growing, and this growth will eventually overload healthcare systems, especially those in developing countries.  Therefore, the key to lowering the cost of vision loss includes frequent screening of people with diabetes. 

Among its efforts to prevent and treat diabetic retinopathy, the ICO helped to establish the Peking University Eli Lilly Diabetic Eye Disease Center.  The Center is the first and only clinic in China to adopt international standards on diabetic eye disease screening, patient education, and physician training.

Closing Gaps in Surgical Knowledge and Expertise
Evaluation tools like the ICO-Ophthalmology Surgical Competency Assessment Rubric (OSCAR) offer a standardized, internationally-valid method to teach and assess an ophthalmologist’s competence in performing cataract surgery. The ICO is working to offer OSCARs for additional surgical procedures in English and Spanish. 

Another evaluation tool, the ICO Exams are offered in over 70 countries and in the test taker's own language.  The ICO Exams are the only worldwide medical-specialty examinations.  The questions are prepared by an international group of examiners, and are set at the same standard as the highest board and qualifying examinations anywhere. 

Integrating Ophthalmology and Eye Care into the Larger Health Care System
In addition to working with programs like VISION 2020, the ICO also offers tools and trainings to help generate financing and other support for eye care and the prevention of vision loss.  For example, the 2011 Advocacy Workshop included case studies, panel presentations, and discussion opportunities.  While the workshop was developed for "Advocates" who were designated by their ophthalmologic societies to work with the ICO, anyone interested in advocacy was invited to participate. 

ICO activities to improve vision-related quality of life, such as these and many more, are largely possible because of donations to the ICOFoundation.

 

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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