When we work in a profession, we become very familiar with the key issues that constantly challenge us. Understandably, we can begin to assume all those outside the profession share the same level of awareness.
For this reason, the findings in The Australia and New Zealand (NZ) Child Myopia Report – A Focus on Future Management, are so vitally important for the vision and eye health of the youngest members of our countries. Launched by the Australia and NZ Child Myopia Working Group in mid-May, the report reminds us of how little is known about myopia in the community – and how much education is required to ensure preventative action is taken. At a time when the eye care profession is constantly being reminded that more than 50% of the world’s population will have myopia by 2050,1 it seems that 65% of Australian parents (with children 0–17 years old) and 69% of New Zealand parents do not even know what myopia is.
Raising awareness will require a collaborative effort. I’m interested to see the awareness initiatives, and recommendations for standard of care for child myopia management, that are currently being developed by the Child Myopia Working Group.
The ‘Roadmap to Close the Gap in Vision’ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians is another issue that we often hear discussed, yet how much do we really understand about what is being done? We were honoured to have Melbourne Laureate Professor Hugh Taylor AC write our lead story for this issue, in which he explains how and why the Roadmap to Close the Gap in Vision was developed, what’s been learnt along the way, and the key factors that have led to eye health being one of few areas where real progress is being made.
Enjoy this issue.