Trajectory of myopia prevention in Taiwanese schools

Li Chun Chang, Pei Chang Wu, Yu-Chen Niu, Min Li Chen, Li Ling Liao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Worsening vision among school-age children has been a topic of concern for Taiwanese education and healthcare authorities. Hence, clarifying schools' existing vision-care promotion strategies and their current difficulties has gained importance. This study systematically illustrates the trajectory of myopia prevention in schools based on an analysis of information on promotion of vision care polices in schools by Taiwan governmental units, including official documents, statistical data, and major research reports and surveys. This paper first presents the high prevalence rates of poor vision among school-age children across Taiwan. The measures adopted by governmental units to solve this problem since 1980 are summarized and categorized into five stages. After 2010, when schools began implementing an evidenced strategy of eye protection during outdoor activities, an improvement in poor vision among primary school children was observed. This paper further explores the nationwide phenomenon of insufficient and unevenly distributed ophthalmological medical resources that poses a significant challenge to controlling and preventing near-sightedness and blindness among school-age children. Finally, we suggest that the central government set up cross-departmental task forces to promote myopia prevention, effectively address difficulties in finding medical assistance for children's vision problems, establish a consensus on the importance of myopia prevention, integrate school and medical myopia case management, actively promote myopia prevention in local communities, conduct outreach through mass media, and educate parents. By ensuring cooperation between the central and local governments, as well as improving the health knowledge and ability of teachers, parents and children, the increasing prevalence of myopia in Taiwanese schoolchildren can be effectively contained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-30
Number of pages14
JournalTaiwan Journal of Public Health
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016

Keywords

  • Policy
  • School
  • Vision care

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