The objective of the present study was to evaluate how the ICO Fellowship Programme has impacted on improving knowledge, skills and the careers of young ophthalmologists from low-resource countries.

A questionnaire was sent to 1140 ICO fellows after the conclusion of their fellowship and another 3 years later. Part 1 contained 26 questions, while Part 2 had 21 questions. The answers were collected through an online platform and analysed descriptively thereafter.

1101 Part 1 questionnaires had been sent to former fellows, with a return rate of 47% and 829 Part 2 questionnaires with a return rate of 47%. Overall, 98.3% strongly or somewhat agreed that knowledge in their subspecialty has improved considerably.9% of them held a lecturer, senior lecturer or head of subspecialty department position prior to the fellowship, 46% of them held such a position 3 years after the fellowship was completed.

The study concluded that the the expectation of such a positive impact. Moreover, almost half of the responding participants have been appointed to a local leadership position in their home country.

Reference: https://bjo.bmj.com/content/early/2020/08/29/bjophthalmol-2020-316484