Shenzhen, China, 17 September 2018: An ophthalmology and optometry conference in one of China’s most densely populated regions has drawn further attention to the myopia ‘epidemic’ in the country, as Chinese President Xi Jinping weighed in on the issue.
According to Xinhua news agency, President Xi recently urged all sectors of society to respond and governments across the country to implement schemes to prevent and treat myopia among children. The Ministry of Education and National Health Commission have now published a draft prevention and control scheme strategy for public comment.
The 21st Guangdong Provincial Ophthalmology and Optometry Conference, hosted in Shenzhen, was held in conjunction with the 1st Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Bay Area Vision and Eye Health Forum. The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Bay Area encompasses a cluster of 11 cities, home to a combined 70 million people, with rates of myopia round 80-90% among school leavers.
Keynote speaker Dr Kah Ooi Tan, from Brien Holden Vision Institute, who presented on myopia intervention strategies, said myopia was the topic of interest at the forum’s press conference.
Dr Kah Ooi Tan, Business Development Director, Brien Holden Vision Institute
“It’s vital that parents and teachers are aware that almost every child in this region will develop myopia by the time they finish school and that the complications associated with high myopia can be sight threatening,” he said. “This was a good opportunity to get the message out that early intervention is crucial, regular eye examinations are important and that treatment and monitoring by eye care professionals can significantly reduce the risk of vision loss.”
Brien Holden Vision Institute has historical links in the region through education and research programs and collaborations. “To increase practitioner awareness in the area of myopia management, Brien Holden Vision Institute have presented at forums in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia over the last year,” he added.
“We’ve also developed free online tools for practitioners to aid them in myopia management, including the recently released Guidelines for Myopia Management and our Myopia Calculator.”
In addition to podium presentations, the education team of Brien Holden Vision Institute have been running accredited ‘Managing Myopia’ online courses for optometrists in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Course two ‘Complex Cases’, will begin in November 2018 and is now open for enrolment. To find out more go to: academy.brienholdenvision.org
The 21st Guangdong Provincial Ophthalmology and Optometry Conference was organised by Guangdong Science and Technology Association, with co-organisers Guangdong Province Optometric Association and Shenzhen Hospital, affiliated with Southern Medical University.