MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sydney, Australia, 28 June 2018: Brien Holden Vision Institute and the World Council of Optometry (WCO) are pleased to announce a partnership to promote “Myopia Awareness Week” globally in 2019.
Almost half the world’s population will be myopic by the year 2050, with nearly 1 billion people in the high myopia category, according to published estimates.1
WCO President, Dr Scott Mundle, says the campaign will target the general public and eye care sector. “Our aim will be to raise awareness about the impact myopia is likely to have on the lives of our children, highlight the critical role optometrists play in treating myopia and help keep practitioners informed about emerging trends in myopia control and management,” he says.
Dr Mundle says the WCO has a long history of working for the greater good of vision awareness and blindness prevention with the non-profit Brien Holden Vision Institute. “This is a perfect extension of other joint ventures we have with Brien Holden Vision Institute including, Our Children’s Vision and Optometry Giving Sight,” he adds.
Professor Kovin Naidoo, CEO of Brien Holden Vision Institute, said the growing prevalence of myopia requires a comprehensive response and it is appropriate that optometry, through its global body, should be instrumental in this. “In early 2018, we piloted Myopia Awareness Week in Australia in partnership with Optometry NSW/ACT, University of New South Wales and the Centre for Eye Health,” he says. The success of this week motivated us to expand our efforts.
“We are thrilled to join with the World Council of Optometry on this much larger campaign to raise awareness on a global scale,” Prof Naidoo adds “The partnership will garner the support of industry and other key players to make sure the message of the looming public health crisis and the need for action, reaches large sectors of the general population as well as practitioners.”
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1. Holden BA, Fricke TR, Wilson DA, Jong M, Naidoo KS, Sankaridurg P, Wong TY, Naduvilath TJ, Resnikoff S, Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050, Ophthalmology, May 2016 Volume 123, Issue 5, Pages 1036–1042.
About the World Council of Optometry
Our vision is of a world where optometry makes high quality eye health and vision care accessible to all people.
In order to achieve our vision, our mission is to facilitate the development of optometry around the world and support optometrists in promoting eye health and vision care as a human right through advocacy, education, policy development and humanitarian outreach.
About Brien Holden Vision Institute
Brien Holden Vision Institute is a non-profit translational research, education and public health organisation. It develops new solutions for vision care, especially for myopia and other refractive errors to eliminate vision impairment and avoidable blindness, thereby reducing disability and poverty.
Brien Holden Vision Institute is a social enterprise, investing the revenues from its work into creating scientific solutions and developing and delivering eye care and education programs.