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Published: 20.03.2024
Harshada Kale Head of Education
Optometry Council of India

The population affected by Myopia is expected to increase from approximately 2 billion people in 2010 to nearly 5 Billion people in 2050, says WCO. It is now time to engage the entire eye health community, advising them of not just the importance, but how they can manage myopia in their practice.

The Optometry Council of India formed a Myopia Taskforce with Indian experts working in the Myopia control field. The myopia task force formed the Myopia White paper in line with the WCO which proposed precise recommendations for various stakeholders in the school education to follow towards myopia control.

OCI’s Myopia task force formed a coalition named TEAAM with industry giants. TEAAM is “Training, Education, Awareness, Advocacy for Myopia”. OCI’s TEAAM aims at increasing public awareness of Myopia as a growing epidemic among children in addition to upskilling the eyecare practitioners with the necessary tool kit to actively contribute to this growing concern regarding Myopia.

Objectives of TEAAM are to provide training and certification to eyecare practitioners in India through a systematic Myopia management practitioner course, to develop a network of mentors for TEAAM who would be able to offer training and support to fellow practitioners in their respective regions, to develop educational materials for the general public and concerned stakeholders that could be utilized by the practitioners in their practice and leveraging the power of social media to conduct advocacy and awareness activities for practitioners and the general public.

OCI along with the support of TEAAM members (Essilor, Hoya, Zeiss, Menicon, Seed) has developed Myopia awareness animation films.

There are 5 short animation films in 7 Indian local languages. Each will be released once in 2 months. The final one will have clips of all the films and released after a year. The 5 themes are:

  1. Sunlight exposure
  2. Less gadget time
  3. Comprehensive eye exam
  4. Spectacles for Myopia Management
  5. Orthokeratology for myopia

This campaign will be spread across one year to raise awareness of myopia. The government, society, schools, and families must participate in myopia prevention and health education. Eye health education should be widely disseminated in schools, with a focus on emphasizing techniques for preventing and controlling myopia to enhance dissemination efficiency.

Video Transcript