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Dr Kate Gifford


As we approach Myopia Awareness Week, taking place from 22-26 May, the eye health sector is being urged to ensure myopia management is an essential part of child eye health. With the prevalence of myopia increasing rapidly and projections indicating that by 2050, 50% of the world’s population will be myopic, with uncorrected myopia and high myopia a leading cause of blindness worldwide, the topic is of critical importance to the optometric profession.

O=MEGA23 in partnership with the 4th World Congress of Optometry (WCO) will be held in Melbourne in September and will feature the latest research and updates across several presentations about myopia management and myopia control as part of its rich and diverse conference program.

Husband and wife optometrist team Drs Paul and Kate Gifford, and founders of Myopia Profile, the international go-to information resource on clinical myopia management, will be presenting on ‘Unanswered questions in myopia management’.

Dr Kate Gifford said, ‘There is a professional obligation to provide myopia management as standard of care for young patients, and an expanding volume of scientific literature on efficacy, safety and benefits of myopia treatments. There are still important scientific questions, though, which have substantial implications for enabling myopia management in clinical practice.

‘Our presentation will outline the latest research on the knowns and the unknowns for several unanswered questions in myopia management. The knowns will be translated into actionable clinical advice and management pathways, and the unknowns detailed to support practitioner communication.’

Major Platinum sponsor of O=MEGA23, CooperVision is sponsoring the attendance of plenary speaker Professor Mark Bullimore. Joe Tanner, CooperVision Professional Services Manager, commented that ‘Mark is an internationally renowned scientist, speaker and educator and has become one of the most important figures in helping the eye care professions understand child myopia and its management.

‘At O=MEGA23/WCO4, Mark will share further important insights on myopia management, particularly in the context of local practice where the opportunity to greatly limit the adverse effects of high myopia is larger than in many other countries.’

The biennial O=MEGA event is the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere, while the World Congress of Optometry is an international event hosted in a different city across the world also on a biennial basis. This partnership is a unique alignment and rare opportunity to combine a national and international program to create the largest optometric event in the region.

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