Ophthalmologists from developing countries will get the chance to further their skills through a number of new fellowships offered by the International Council of Ophthalmology thanks to The Fred Hollows Foundation funding.

This expansion in the ICO's fellowship programs will give young ophthalmologists the chance to broaden their skills and knowledge of eye health, by working in countries where improved eye care is desperately needed.

Through funds provided by The Foundation, the ICO will offer three-month and one-year fellowships to regions were we work around the world.

Successful fellows will be able work with The Foundation on programs located in Africa, The Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia and the Pacific—returning to their home country with a range of new surgical skills.

Fred Hollows believed in training eye surgeons in some of the most remote and challenging regions of the world.

He knew that to get people blinded by cataract out of the darkness and onto the operating table it was necessary to train local eye doctors from regions that needed the help most.

Last year The Foundation trained over 10,000 clinical and support staff throughout the 19 countries we currently operate in.

ICO Vice President, Dr Jean-Jaques De Lacy said the generous grant from The Foundation would allow the ICO to expand ophthalmic training into sub-specialties.

“Since 2000, the ICO has awarded more than 585 Fellowships, allowing promising young ophthalmologists from developing countries to bring acquired knowledge and skills back to their home country and take part in programs to preserve and restore vision,” Dr De Lacy said.