The Institute of Community Ophthalmology is the brain child of a group of visionary, aware of Community Ophthalmic problems in Bangladesh created with the idea to impart training to doctors in Community oriented Ophthalmology along side clinical Ophthalmology to meet the demand of the country.This led to the establishment of Institute of Community Ophthalmology (ICO) in 1981, initially as an affiliated institution, eventually became a constituent part of University of Chittagong.
The institution is housed at Chittagong Eye Infirmary and Training Complex campus because of the availability of necessary infrastructure and logistic services and supports particularly the clinical facilities. A separate Governing Body headed by Vice chancellor, University of Chittagong is at the helm.
The institute is headed by a full time director, native and foreign trained optometrists who looks, after the day to day academic and clinical activities. There are full time and part-time faculties. Prof. F.A. Billson, Chairman, Department of Ophthalmology, Sydney University is closely associated with the doctors training program since 1979 and assisted with the creation of the Institute of Community Ophthalmology. The Institution is also fortunate to have a group of part-time faculties of International repute of which Prof.R.Pararajasegaram (Switzerland) and Prof. Rogers Pierson (USA) are mention-able.
The Institute of Community Ophthalmology (ICO) has a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Malaysian University namely Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) where the graduate optometrist can have their postgraduate degrees. Along with regular faculty members, the foreign faculties and part time faculty members covers substantial numbers of lectures.
A MoU has been signed on 22nd July, 2015 among Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University , Chittagong Eye Infirmary and Training Complex, and Institute of Community Ophthalmology for academic collaboration. The Institute runs regular post-graduate courses in Ophthalmology leading to Diploma in Community Ophthalmology. in which besides doctors from within the country, also from abroad enrolls.Since 2010, DCO courses are affiliated by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), Dhaka and are run by its academic rules and regulations. ICO is also a centre for “International Council of Ophthalmology” Examination for the last 15 years.
Institute of Community Ophthalmology (ICO) has started Bachelor of Science in Optometry (B. Optom) since 2010. This is a 4 years honours course under University of Chittagong.The first batch (2014), second batch (2015), third batch (2016), forth batch (2017) of B. Optom students has been completed their 4 years graduation course successfully. Already 34 students from 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th batches have completed their course and came out successfully.
Optometry is an eye care profession which is dedicated to the improvement and preservation of eye sight. It covers the assessment of vision and incredibly diverse range of activities.
Optometrists are primary eye care providers and possess and excellent understanding of the visual system, the problems that can occur and how to manage these problems. As such, the modern practice of optometry encompasses the assessment of the human eye and visual system, as well as the management of patients with conditions of the eye and visual system.