EYECARE: Eye Health Global Myopia Awareness Coalition Welcomes International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, Expanding Its Reach into Public Health Sector By Staff Tuesday, October 19, 2021 12:18 AM GMAC chairperson and president of CooperVision Specialty EyeCare Juan Carlos Aragón, OD. ST. LOUIS—The Global Myopia Awareness Coalition (GMAC) announced that the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) has joined the organization and will be represented on its board of directors. This marks a significant expansion of GMAC’s reach into the public health sector, whose cooperation is vital to successfully address one of the most pressing ocular health issues in generations. GMAC comprises leading eye health companies and associations with a mission to increase public awareness of childhood myopia and treatment options. IAPB is the leading global alliance for the eye health sector, with member organizations in more than 100 countries working together for a world where everyone has universal access to eyecare.Rates and severity of childhood myopia—commonly known as nearsightedness and short sightedness—are on the rise, leading to vision challenges and long-term eye health concerns as they age. GMAC develops public campaigns alongside health care and allied professions to drive awareness and education surrounding risks and treatments. GMAC chairperson and president of CooperVision Specialty EyeCare Juan Carlos Aragón, OD, said, “The Global Myopia Awareness Coalition enthusiastically welcomes the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness as a partner to help raise awareness of the worldwide increase in the prevalence and severity of pediatric myopia. Its participation will further extend and tighten the alignment between the bodies and individuals necessary to conquer this growing issue. Bringing together corporations, associations, and now non-governmental organizations and the public health sector through IAPB places us that much closer to overcoming the global myopia epidemic.” IAPB CEO Peter Holland.IAPB CEO Peter Holland said, “Myopia is one of the greatest challenges that faces eye health in the coming decades. IAPB is delighted to join GMAC, following its great success raising awareness and building understanding of childhood myopia. We are looking forward to joining in with GMAC’s innovative campaigns and working with our members to take the message of myopia awareness to a global audience.” The Global Myopia Awareness Coalition was formed in 2019 to address the need for greater public awareness of childhood myopia. GMAC aims to help change the behaviors of parents and encourage them to do the same with their children. The Coalition aims to make parents of myopic children more receptive to recommendations from their eyecare professionals, and to increase the time children spend outdoors and decrease the time they spend on screens. It also seeks to influence policy at the national and global levels to make clinical and health promotion activities possible.