Myopia is a major public health problem, particularly in East Asia. In this summary report, we present key findings and recommendations on strategies for myopia control discussed during the meeting jointly organised by the WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and the Brien Holden Vision Institute. First, myopia prevalence was reported to be increasing, with up to 80% of junior school students with myopia in East Asia. However, common challenges in implementing myopia control strategies on a national level included lack of school screening programme, and paucity of accurate prevalence data. Second, there continues to be broad public misconception about myopia and myopia control, including lack of parental awareness and resistance to wearing spectacles. Third, best practices for myopia management were shared, and recommendations for policy implementation are presented in this review. Key recommendations from this meeting include increased public education to raise parent and teacher awareness; encouragement of increased outdoor time of 2–3 hours per day for schoolchildren—as a practical public health intervention that has been shown to potentially reduce onset and progression of myopia. Governments and non-governmental organisations are encouraged to collaborate, especially education and health ministries to develop national myopia prevention programme. Lastly, it is important to emphasise that the key recommendations, such as increasing outdoor time for schoolchildren, are specific for East Asian nations in the Western Pacific region and may not be entirely applicable for Western nations.
- public health
- optics and refraction
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Collaborators Active Participants of the Developing Myopia Control Strategies Joint WHO-IAPB-BHVI Western Pacific Region Meeting: Audrey Chia, Seang Mei Saw, Judith Stern, Hasan Minto, Kyoko Ohno Matsui, Tae Yokoi, Ian Morgan, Jennifer Gersbeck, Wu Pei-Chang, He Mingguang, Zhu Jiangfeng, Jialiang Zhao, Leilei Zhan, Do Seiha, Khampoua Southisombath, Bouathep Phoumindr, Sumarlie Nordin, Duratul Ain Binti, Rosmawati Uthman, Oyungerel Nanzad, Chimgee Chuluunghkuu, Leo Cubilan, Mildred Pre, Yoon Seung Kim, Nguyen Thi Thu Hien, Yiwen Huang, Peter Hendicott, Priya Morjaria, Joanna Conlon, Janine Lancaster.
Funding This review was adapted from the report prepared and published by the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific for Member States in the Region and for those who participated in the Developing Myopia Control Strategies Joint WHO-IAPB-BHVI Western Pacific Region Meeting in Singapore from 13th to 14th November 2018. Funding by the Brian Holden Vision Institute, International Agency for Prevention of Blindness and Singapore Eye Research Institute.
Disclaimer The views expressed in this report are those of the participants of the Developing Myopia Control Strategies Joint WHO-IAPB-BHVI Western Pacific Region Meeting and do not necessarily reflect the policies of the conveners or funders.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.