By Rhiannon Riches
A worldwide campaign initiated by the Brien Holden Vision Institute and Essilor to help stem the impact of myopia was officially launched at the Australian Consulate in New York on 12 April.
The campaign, titled Our Children’s Vision, has set a goal of screening 50 million children worldwide for vision impairments by 2020 and creating access to services for those who need them.
The campaign is bringing together governments, development agencies, the private sector, and eye health practitioners, with 34 organisations involved to date, including Optometry Giving Sight, which is a global partner in the campaign.
Professor Kovin Naidoo is CEO of Brien Holden Vision Institute and campaign director for Our Children’s Vision. He says the institute’s research indicates that half of the world’s population will suffer from myopia by 2050.
‘We are potentially facing the biggest public health challenge of our generation,’ he said in a media statement released on the day of the campaign’s launch. ‘This trend can be slowed down through preventative or corrective care, but only if a child is reached while their eyes are still developing.
‘Our Children’s Vision is a call to action, to come together to ensure that effective, inclusive, sustainable eye health solutions are available to every child everywhere,’ he said.
The World Council of Optometry and the International Council of Ophthalmology have endorsed the campaign.
For information, visit www.ourchildrensvision.org. Contact Optometry Giving Sight for information on how to be involved.