August 3, 2023
ST. LOUIS — The Global Myopia Awareness Coalition (GMAC) has a new member: the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO). This marks a significant growth of GMAC’s reach into the Canadian eye care professionals’ sector, whose role is vital to successfully raising awareness and promoting action to address childhood myopia as a treatable disease.
As an industry coalition, GMAC was founded with a mission to promote public awareness of childhood myopia as a treatable disease through direct-to-consumer channels and awareness with governments, NGOs, and other health care associations. GMAC does not advocate for specific clinical approaches. Instead, it is designed to stimulate public interest and prompt parental conversations with eye care practitioners.
“The Global Myopia Awareness Coalition is delighted to welcome the Canadian Association of Optometrists to help raise awareness of the increase in the prevalence and severity of pediatric myopia in Canada,” said Lisa McAlister, GMAC Board Chair. “Its participation will further drive collaborative action between organizations and individuals necessary to overcome this rapidly growing issue. Bringing together organized Canadian optometrists with CAO places us closer to overcoming the global myopia epidemic.”
“We are thrilled to join the Global Myopia Awareness Coalition,” said CAO CEO François Couillard. “Myopia is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world. The CAO endorses evidence-based myopia management as a standard of care for all at-risk patients”
The Global Myopia Awareness Coalition was formed in 2019 to address the need for greater public awareness of childhood myopia. GMAC aims to help raise awareness and encourage action about myopia. The Coalition aims to make parents of myopic children more receptive to recommendations from their eye care professionals and act by asking for treatment options that include simple measures to increase the time children spend outdoors. It also seeks to influence policy at the national and global levels to make clinical and health promotion activities possible.