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Into Focus: The World Health Organization's outlook on myopia's significance

In our fast-paced modern world, the increasing prevalence of myopia has caught the attention of health organizations worldwide. Among them is the World Health Organization (WHO), which plays a pivotal role in shedding light on this growing issue. Myopia has become a global concern, affecting millions of people and posing significant challenges to eye health.

Young boy on laptop

The WHO's Stance on Myopia: A Call to Action

The WHO recognises myopia as a significant public health concern. They emphasise that its prevalence has been rising at an alarming rate, particularly among children and adolescents. The WHO attributes this trend to the increasing use of digital devices and decreased time spent outdoors, which can contribute to the development and progression of myopia.

In the WHO's Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Avoidable Blindness and Visual Impairment 2014-2019, myopia is identified as a major target for action. The organization stresses the importance of raising awareness about myopia's potential consequences, advocating for eye health education, and promoting policies that encourage outdoor activities and screen time moderation.

As part of the WHO's action plan, The Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center of Sun Yat-sen University has inaugurated the WHO Collaboration Center for Eye Care and Vision in Guangzhou [1] . As the 10th centre of its kind worldwide, its mission encompasses aiding the WHO in global eye health research and technological advancements. Having previously engaged in collaborative projects, particularly in myopia research, the centre's focus will extend to myopia control, enhancing eye care capabilities, evaluating eye health, establishing grassroots medical institutions, and providing training.

The above collaboration shows the joint efforts of the Chinese government and educational institutions to address this issue. Initiatives such as reducing academic workloads, encouraging more outdoor time, and implementing regulations on screen time are being pursued to combat myopia's rapid rise not just in China but around the world. By raising awareness, encouraging healthy habits, and fostering a supportive environment, we can collectively tackle the myopia epidemic and promote better eye health worldwide.

In the United Kingdom, appears to be a slow and limited response to this real threat. We hope that people can sign our petition and help us encourage the government to properly fund eye care for children and young adults.

If you're a parent whose child has been diagnosed with myopia or if they are struggling with their distance vision, we hope you found MyopiaFocus helpful. Please join our community or sign our petition to get the government and NHS to recognise myopia as an ocular disease/severe ocular condition and fund myopia management for children.

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