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Australia and New Zealand Child Myopia Working Group Releases Myopia Standard of Care

December 12, 2022

AUSTRALIA  and NEW ZEALAND — The Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) Child Myopia Working Group recently released a new myopia management standard of care. The document, entitled The Australia and New Zealand Child Myopia Report — A Focus on Future Management, brings together pertinent, evidence-based data around child myopia in Australia, New Zealand, and around the world to increase the number of children having their myopia managed in an evidence-based way.

By highlighting the increasing prevalence and lifelong impact of child myopia, the aim of this report is to draw focus to the need for a united, global commitment to raising awareness about child myopia and its management, thereby reducing the growing prevalence of high myopia and its comorbidities.

There are six primary tenets of care put forth by the ANZ Child Myopia Working Group, which are found here in the full report. At their core, the tenets of care call for mitigation, measurement, and management through evidence-based approaches, as well as strong communication with parents and patients about what myopia is and means for children’s vision.

Joe Tanner and Elizabeth Lumb

“No professional bodies in ANZ had developed a standard of care for optometrists in Australia and New Zealand to look to, and so recognizing this need, the ANZ Child Myopia Working Group set to work through a series of meetings and close communication,” said Joe Tanner, Professional Services Manager, CooperVision ANZ. “We’re fortunate that the working group involves leading experts from our optometric societies, educational institutions, and research groups. All of their expertise came together in this report designed to encourage evidence-based care to slow the progression of myopia in children.”

“The recent publication from the ANZ Child Myopia Working Group joins the growing sentiment that we, as a profession, need to urgently and proactively address myopia,” said Elizabeth Lumb, BSc (Hons), MCOptom, FBCLA, Director of Global Professional Affairs, Myopia Management, CooperVision. “It follows in the footsteps of similar calls to action from the World Council of Optometry (WCO) and the Canadian Association of Optometrists. All these organizations have emphasized mitigating, measuring, and managing myopia with evidence-based treatments. While its impact will continue to grow, the ANZ working group’s statement has already had value in keeping up this momentum in our industry.

“Increased awareness among everyone in the life of a child — including eye care professionals, allied health care professionals, educational bodies, and families — will help children who stand to benefit from early intervention to help slow their myopia progression,” Lumb continued. “There is a long way to go for the profession to adopt myopia management as a standard of care, but the work by the WCO and others demonstrate the power of collaboration and partnership to help accelerate this goal.”

The Australia and New Zealand Child Myopia Working Group is a collaboration of leading optometrists and ophthalmologists from Australia and New Zealand, and it was established in 2018 to deliver a recommended standard of care for the management of myopia in children with the aim of slowing its progression. The establishment of the Australia and New Zealand Child Myopia Working Group has been enabled by CooperVision Australia & New Zealand.


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