Government to create a Myopia Strategy & fund myopia reduction treatments for ALL children

Government to create a Myopia Strategy & fund myopia reduction treatments for ALL children

23 November 2021
Signatures: 28Next Goal: 50
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Why this petition matters

Started by Tom Griffiths

By 2050, 50% of the world is predicted to have Myopia [Source: Brian Holden]. It is being described as a global 'pandemic' that will affect the lives of children worldwide. Many countries, like China and Taiwan, are being proactive in 2021.

The UK myopia epidemic is happening now, with our children, exacerbated by increased lockdown screentime [Source Wang 14/01/21; British Journal of Ophthalmology], a tsunami that when it lands in the future will cost the UK more to fix then, than prevent now.

UK problems

  1. We use the colloquial term 'short sight' with parents (viewed as harmless), not the medical term 'myopia' (a condition linked to eye disease, as high blood pressure is a condition linked to heart disease). As a result >2 million parents are unaware their children have a medical condition in their eye linked to long term eye disease

  2. Myopia can now be managed/controlled, leading to children having a better life (with better sight) and decreased risks of eye disease later in life. Parents have a right to know this, and have a right to be made aware of all the management / control options

  3. Currently myopia management / control options are not available on the NHS (with no plan to address this) and carry price tags that may prohibit lower income families. Stabilising myopia to give better sight and decreased risks of eye disease is currently the privilege of those who can afford it. This is not right. No child should be left behind.

The solution - that we are asking UK Eye Care Professionals (ECPs) to vote for

[If the majority of UK ECPs vote for this by May 31 2022, there is a mandate for their associations and representatives to take this, on their behalf, to the Health Minister on June 1 2022]

  1. The UK Government, in consultation with devolved Governments, to agree to the framework of a UK Myopia Strategy by 31 December 2022. To engage with the optical industry (assocations, manufacturers, academics...) to assess and address what is happening in the UK - the implications, the economic cost, the moral duty
  2. Government to agree to fund Myopia Awareness campaigns aimed at parents in Q1 2023.
  3. Within the UK Myopia Strategy to agree to look into, and then fund, myopia reduction treatments for all UK children by January 1 2024

Actions. Not words.

To give our children, all children, better sight and better lives.


Campaign origination

This campaign has been originated by entrepreneur Tom Griffiths, a parent whose optometrist never gave them a 'Myopia Chat'. They were simply told their 9 year old son had 'short sight'. He lost 1.00D /year. 4 years later, at -4.00D, he was fitted with a myopia control device by another optometrist after a chance conversation between mums in a playground. 3 years on, aged 17, his myopia is still stable at -4.50D.

It was 5 years after first diagnosis of 'short sight' that Tom and his wife Carolyn learnt that 'short sight' = myopia, a medical condition linked to eye disease that can be controlled. They were staggered they were never told this, something they felt they had a right to know. That every parent has a right to know.

To then find out that he was in a privileged position as someone who could afford this, lead to guilt and a desire to help create change so no child gets left behind.

Tom initially volunteered his time for free, outside of his job, as a parent case study to help raise awareness and campaign for change to the manufacturer of his son's lens. Full disclosure: after Covid brought his other projects to a halt, Tom joined the manufacturer full time. By joining the industry Tom is hoping to act as a catalyst to engage both the public and the industry together in a way to deliver constructive change.


How to fill in the petition

At the end you will be asked for your name. Please write your name and your role. Thank you :)



We would like the Government, in consultation with the devolved Governments, to

1. Commit to the creation of a UK Myopia Strategy by Dec 31 2022
2. Fund Myopia Awareness campaigns for parents from Q1 2023
3. Fund myopia reduction treatments for ALL children by Jan 1 2024


Support now
Signatures: 28Next Goal: 50
Support now