World Council of Optometry: Supporting the Development of Optometry around the Globe

Title World Council of Optometry: Supporting the Development of Optometry around the Globe
Author, Co-Author Susan Cooper
Program Number
Mile High 1
World Council of Optometry

The WCO is dedicated to optometry by supporting the development of vision care worldwide. It represents 200,000 optometrists, 90 organizations in 54 countries in 6 world regions: Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, Latin America and North America.

WCO is the only optometric organization in official relations with WHO and a member of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.

This poster highlights WCO mandates, benefits of membership and outlines WCO’s work in 2013. Areas include:

. Strategic and influential involvement in international health care through advocacy work:

o Brazil. Collaborated with the Brazilian Council of Optometry and Optics to ensure that Medical Bill No 268/2002 which affected optometry, was vetoed by the Brazilian President and Congress

o Peru. Raised awareness of optometry and its scope of practice with the Parliament’s Health Commission and the Ministries of Education and Health.

o Mexico. Collaborated with its member the Mexican Association of Schools, Colleges and Councils of Optometry (AMFECCO) to lobby for the modification of Art 79 of the Health Bill to include optometry as one of the health professions that requires a university degree to be able to practise

o Calling for increased scope of practice in Puerto Rico and Korea

o Influencing the work of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB)

o raising public awareness of the role of optometrists through awards and conferences

. generating evidence and supporting competencies

o Global Scope of Practice Questionnaire completed by 54 countries

o working on survey on gaps in public health

o supporting optometric curriculum development—published document on curricular support elements

. supporting WCO members

o fellowship and travel bursaries funded by the World Optometric Foundation

o membership survey to identify the needs and interest member organizations assist with identifying priorities

o assisting in areas of association and regulatory development

Affiliation of Co-Authors