Integrate Vision Care into Holistic Public Health

In conjunction with World Sight Day, the Malaysian Health Coalition (MHC) and the Malaysian Society of Ophthalmology (MSO) jointly call for attention and proactive efforts to be given towards preserving the vision health of the public.

We call for the following:

  1.                   Implement routine annual eye screening among at-risk populations. 

Short-sightedness (or myopia) is worsened by increased screen time and gadget usage especially among children and younger adults. The growth of indoor digital learning is also observed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To help prevent myopia, we recommend that all primary and secondary schools allow periods of rest for children, including outdoor time.

We also call for compulsory annual eye screening to be carried out for all school-age children.

Similarly, individuals aged 40 and above should also receive routine annual eye screening, especially those with diabetes and hypertension. Early detection followed by timely intervention are vital to preserve optimal visual function.


  1.                   Eliminate dubious and misleading advertisements for eye products.

Social media has been manipulated by irresponsible parties to sell dubious products advertised for eye treatment. Their marketing often promotes health claims that are callous, misleading and are not based on evidence. We would like to advise the public against purchasing such products. Patients opting for alternative therapies without discussing with their eye doctor risk worsening their condition. We urge the authorities to take firm action against perpetrators who provide dubious or misleading advertisements. Effective law enforcement combined with demands from informed consumers are necessary to combat the sale of these unsafe products.


  1.                   Practice strict adherence to workplace eye safety.

There have been many instances of serious and blinding ocular injuries at workplaces which are preventable. We urge the Department of Occupational Safety and Health and relevant OSH units in companies to enforce safer working environments for all workers. Employers must provide proper safety gear including appropriate safety eyewear. This is followed by strict usage of personal protective equipment amongst all workers. Office workers are also encouraged to ensure they have the necessary eye correction. The general 20-20-20 rule of looking away from the devices every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds at an object 20 feet away or more should be implemented as a standard practice in office settings.


  1.                   Strictly regulate and enforce consumer fireworks.

One of the preventable contributors to ocular injuries are fireworks-related incidents. We would like to echo the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) call for strict regulation on consumer fireworks. Increased ocular injuries due to fireworks are common especially during festive seasons, both locally and internationally. Several legislations have already been made in many countries to strictly regulate fireworks use. It is only befitting for Malaysia to adjust our law and enforcement efforts on this matter accordingly in order to reduce accidents caused by fireworks.

Preventative measures are crucial to protect healthy vision. We call for the relevant authorities and the public to collectively safeguard this important asset both at a national and individual capacity.

Malaysian Health Coalition & Malaysian Society of Ophthalmology

(Full Signature List on

Press release by Malaysian Health Coalition (MHC)

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