March 1, 2022
By Dwight Akerman, OD, MBA, FAAO, FBCLA, FIACLE
What are leading ophthalmic companies and eye health associations doing to educate and motivate parents of myopic children? A lot.
The Global Myopia Awareness Coalition (GMAC), formed in early 2019, is composed of leading ophthalmic companies and eye health associations that agree on a clear need for greater public awareness about myopia in children. GMAC wants to help change parents’ behaviors and encourage them to do the same with their children. It aspires to make parents of myopic children more receptive to recommendations from their eye care professionals, increase the time children spend outdoors, and decrease their time on screens. Lastly, GMAC seeks to influence policy at the national and global levels to make clinical and health promotion activities possible.
GMAC focuses entirely on public education — not clinical discussion, eye care professional education, or treatment options. The organization does not offer opinions on preferred treatment methods or which eye care professionals should treat pediatric myopia.
In the fourth quarter of 2021, the Global Myopia Awareness Coalition launched its latest public awareness campaign, including both paid and social media, with the goal of continuing the organization’s commitment to driving myopia management awareness among parents. The messaging focused on creating a sense of urgency with parents to act now and ask an eye care professional about treatment options that can help slow myopia progression in children. For the first time, GMAC had ECP influencers and parent influencers posting myopia-related content on their social media channels across several different platforms.
Overall, the campaign was a huge success and led to 245 million impressions on various social media channels. Additionally, the paid editorial content reached over 243 million people, while nearly 30% of the comments on all of the social media posts reflected a deep understanding of the myopia management messaging.
Since 2019, GMAC has launched five successful consumer campaigns in the U.S. dedicated to raising awareness of myopia in children and motivating parents to ask about new treatment options. Thank you, GMAC, for your leadership in the battle against the childhood myopia pandemic.
Best professional regards,
Dwight H. Akerman, OD, MBA, FAAO, FBCLA, FIACLE
Chief Medical Editor