The National Myopia Prevention Programme aims to reduce/delay the onset and progression of myopia among children in Singapore through a multi-pronged approach.
Singapore has one of the highest prevalence rates in the world for myopia. This is a cause for concern as the earlier a child develops myopia, the higher the tendency of developing severe myopia later in life. It is important to be aware that severe myopia may lead to complications which can result in blindness.
The Health Promotion Board (HPB) launched the National Myopia Prevention Programme (NMPP) in August 2001 with the aim of preventing and reducing myopia progression as well as to delay the onset of myopia in children. This is achieved mainly through public education and vision screening for children.
Vision screening aims to detect poor vision early so that children can be referred for vision correction. It is conducted for Kindergarten1 and Kindergarten 2 students at the pre-schools. For the primary and secondary students, it is conducted as part of the annual health screening.
Preschoolers and Primary 1 students found to have poor visual acuity (of 6/12 or worse) are referred to Refraction Clinics at Geylang Polyclinic and the Student Health Centre at HPB. Students from other educational levels are given a referral letter to visit a private optometrist of their choice. In addition to vision screening, there are other various myopia prevention activities that reach out to the public and schools to educate children, parents and teachers on good eye care habits.