Media Release For Immediate Release
Singapore Eye Research Institute Hosts Joint Meeting on Myopia: ‘Developing Myopia Control Strategies’
The meeting involves World Health Organisation, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness & Brien Holden Vision Institute, gathering delegates from across the world to exchange insights on myopia and develop strategies to tackle this condition
Singapore National Eye Centre presents special segment - “Fighting Myopia – The Singapore Experience” – to share efforts against the eye condition in the myopia capital of the world
Meeting delegates also witnessed the announcement of upcoming First-of-its-kind Myopia Centre in Singapore
Singapore, 13 November 2018 – The Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), and the national coordinating centre for ophthalmic and vision-related biomedical research in Singapore, hosted the
Meeting on Myopia: ‘Developing Myopia Control Strategies’ on the 13 and 14 November 2018 at its institute. Jointly organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and Brien Holden Vision Institute (BHVI), the pivotal meeting brought together 40 key scientists, researchers, clinical professionals and policy makers from the Western-Pacific Region with the determination to improve the healthcare for one of the world’s leading eye conditions – myopia. The conference was graced by Guest-of-Honour, Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Transport.
Commonly known as short-sightedness, myopia is an irreversible condition that is projected to affect half of the world’s population by the year 2050. As myopia rapidly becomes a major social issue with higher incidence rates over the years, research and treatment methods simultaneously become a subject of interest amongst eye professionals to better manage and cope with the surge of myopia. The joint meeting served as a platform for world leaders in the eye health industry to discuss and share myopia research findings and approaches in managing myopia with respect to the environment of the participating countries. Myopia reports and insights across the Western-Pacific region were presented and topics including the societal impacts of Myopia as well as the optical, pharmaceutical and environmental considerations for managing myopia were also reviewed at the meeting.
“Uncorrected myopia is globally becoming one of the leading causes of vision impairment and even blindness,” said Professor Aung Tin, Executive Director of SERI. “We are honoured to be able to address this growing health concern on a regional scale, and also present our efforts in reducing the threats of myopia in Singapore.”
Tackling Myopia in Singapore
Hailed as the myopia capital of the world, myopia affects 83 per cent of the Singapore population and 15% of which have high myopia - a statistic that will likely increase to 20-25% in the following years. These higher levels of myopia may result in increased risks of developing sight-threatening conditions including retinal detachment, early cataract, glaucoma, and even myopic macular degeneration (MMD) – a fast-emerging condition that is a major cause for visual impairment in high myopia . This life-long disease affects 10% of Singapore children as young as five years old in which the condition will only progress over a longer duration compared to someone who develops myopia at 20.
To share more about myopia in Singapore, SNEC put together a special segment for the meeting - “Fighting Myopia – The Singapore Experience” – which featured a lecture by Professor Wong Tien Yin, Medical Director of SNEC and a fireside chat moderated by Dr Marcus Ang, with a panel of experienced professionals including Professor Donald Tan, Associate Professor Audrey Chia and Professor Saw Seang Mei.
SNEC also, at the conference, announced its plans to open the Myopia Centre, the first-of-its-kind in Singapore. The centre will focus on initiatives to prevent, control and treat the prevalent eye condition. It also aims to provide more comprehensive and holistic care and access to myopia care in Singapore. “At SNEC, we are committed to provide the highest quality ophthalmic care and with the centre, we are able to channel our efforts into prevention, control and the treatment of myopia,” said Professor Wong Tien Yin, Medical Director of SNEC.
Projected to open in the first quarter of 2019, the SNEC Myopia Centre will offer clinical services (including myopia eye screenings and specialist consultations) and conduct research (clinical and product trials). The centre also aims to focus on the education of prevention and control of myopia and even provide enhanced patient counselling.
Since 1990, SNEC has played an instrumental role in observing the local climate for major eye conditions while conducting clinical trials and research into the causes and treatment for these diseases. In the field of myopia research, the organisation has undergone an extensive track record of the research conducted in order to effectively manage the surge of myopia in Singapore, and more specifically in the young.
Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI)
Established in 1997, SERI is Singapore’s national research institute for ophthalmic and vision research. SERI’s mission is to conduct high impact eye research with the aim to prevent blindness, low vision and major eye diseases common to Singaporeans and Asians. SERI has grown from a founding team of five in 1997 to a faculty of 194, encompassing clinician scientists, scientists, research fellows, PhD students and support staff. This makes SERI one of the largest research institutes in Singapore and the largest eye research institute in Asia-Pacific. In addition, SERI has over 218 adjunct faculties from various eye departments, biomedical institutes and tertiary centres in Singapore.
SERI has amassed an impressive array of more than 3,295 scientific papers as of September 2018, and has secured more than S$307.9 million in external peer-reviewed competitive grants. To date, SERI’s faculty has been awarded more than 493 national and international prizes and filed more than 121 patents. Serving as the research institute of the Singapore National Eye Centre and affiliated to the Duke-NUS Medical School, National University of Singapore, SERI undertakes vision research in collaboration with local clinical ophthalmic centres and biomedical research institutions, as well as major eye centres and research institutes throughout the world. Today, SERI is recognized as a pioneering center for high quality eye research in Asia, with breakthrough discoveries that has translated to significant paradigm shift in eye care delivery. Visit us at
Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC)
Singapore National Eye Centre was incorporated in 1989 and commenced operations in 1990. It is the designated national centre within the public sector healthcare network, and spearheads and coordinates the provision of specialised ophthalmological services with emphasis on quality education and research. Since its opening in 1990, SNEC has achieved rapid growth and currently manages an annual workload of 340,000 outpatient visits and 37,000 major eye surgeries.
Ten subspecialties in Cataract, Cataract and Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Corneal and External Eye Disease, Glaucoma, Neuro-Ophthalmology, Oculoplastic and Aesthetic Eyeplastic, Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, Refractive Surgery, Ocular Inflammation and Immunology and Retina (Medical & Surgical) have been established to provide a full range of eye treatment from comprehensive to tertiary levels for the entire spectrum of eye conditions.
SNEC was accorded the Excellence for Singapore Award in 2003 for achieving excellence in the area of Ophthalmology, thrusting Singapore into international prominence. In 2006, SNEC received the first Minister for Health Award for public health. Three clinician scientists from Singapore National Eye Centre and Singapore Eye Research Institute were awarded the prestigious President's Science and Technology Award in 2009, 2010 and 2014 for their outstanding contributions in translational, clinical and epidemiological research in cornea, retina and glaucoma. Visit us at