The Global Myopia Awareness Coalition (GMAC) was formed to promote the particular understanding of myopia and options for its management in 2019.
Following five successful US campaigns, the first UK awareness campaign was launched in August – encouraging families in order to limit their screentime over the Bank holiday weekend.
OT found out about the work of the particular coalition with GMAC marketing lead for the UNITED KINGDOM campaign, Matt Oerding.
What led to the formation of the GMAC?
The particular Global Myopia Awareness Coalition was formed in 2019. It came out of a conversation between approximately 40 industry leaders globally around some of the challenges in myopia management. One associated with the hurdles that kept coming up was lack of public awareness. If you talk to optometrists, they say that parents have never heard of myopia administration. Individually, no company is able in order to move the needle inside terms of awareness but if we worked together – not to talk about specific products, but the paediatric myopia epidemic as a whole, then we could have an impact. The ultimate aim is to get parents to take within their child with regard to an eye test plus ask their own optometrist regarding myopia management. It was one of those great things in vision care where competitors come together for the common good. We now have close to 20 companies and associations that form GMAC.
GMAC is an all-volunteer organisation. For everybody involved, this is our night job, but we are passionate about making a difference. This is personal for me because one of my daughters is in myopia treatment and my wife is a high myope. We have a generation of kids who we can help. If we wait, and it takes 20 years for this to become a standard of care, we have missed out on that generation.
Exactly what work has been done by the particular GMAC so far?
The aim would be to promote public consciousness of childhood myopia and treatment options. You might think that will the natural focus for a campaign would be countries in South East Asia because the incidence associated with myopia is so high – up in order to 80% or 90% within children. However, Singapore offers been running a government strategy around myopia for eight years right now, while China had the government myopia campaign regarding the past two years. They have targets set to reduce myopia levels in children. We looked at exactly where GMAC could fill the gap between what government and NGOs are doing plus what industry is doing.
We started in the US initially yet after a couple of years of progress we wanted to take the particular message in order to other countries. Our first campaign outside the US was promotion of the Screen Staycation Guide inside the UK at the end of Aug. The marketing campaign encouraged families to limit their screen time during the Bank holiday weekend break. It has been supported by optometrist, Dr Keyur Patel, GP Doctor Stephanie Ooi, and parent influencer, Myleene Klass.
The ultimate aim is to get parents to take in their particular child for an eye test and ask their optometrist about myopia administration
When all of us looked over the particular UK, it stood out as a place along with qualified attention care professionals who can provide myopia management solutions. Nevertheless, from the data we looked at, the public awareness of myopia had been woeful.
All of us commissioned the survey associated with 1500 mother and father about their own attitudes in order to their child’s eye health, their child’s screen and outdoor time. From that, we found that 36% of children were spending up to 5 hours a day upon screens in the UK. Only 21% of parents were worried about the effect of screentime on their child’s eye wellness. We thought that the screen staycation idea made perfect sense in the united kingdom. We all know that will insufficient outdoor time plus increased screentime can increase the risk of myopia onset.
Going into 2023, the particular intention is that we will continue to run campaigns both in the US and UK. Here in the ALL OF US, we tend to run two or even three large campaigns a year around times that we all know parents are thinking about their child’s eye health or their particular child’s overall health. We are also evaluating other nations where GMAC could make the difference.
What do we know regarding the effect of the particular campaigns in the US?
We now have operate five promotions in the US today. We had a campaign within 2020 called Game Over Myopia, which partnered with gamers on Twitch plus other platforms. We were encouraging gamers to take the break from their screens and get their eyes checked.
With each campaign we now have targets relating to the number of people who see and engage along with the content. We did a survey of 5000 moms and dads across the ALL OF US about myopia and eyesight health throughout our first campaign in 2019. That gave us a baseline associated with how many parents are usually aware of myopia and how many are aware that there are treatments available. Last year we did a follow up survey and saw a significant boost in how many parents are conscious of myopia. Although it cannot solely be linked to the GMAC campaigns, that was really encouraging to see that the message will be getting through.