In a move to ensure greater synergy in eye care amongst Optometrists and Ophthalmologists; the President of the Nigerian Optometric Association, Dr Obinna Awiaka has called for a more seamless working relationship in patient co-management amongst eye care practitioners.
Speaking at the 45th Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria(OSN), Scientific Conference/AGM; in his goodwill message, the NOA President, congratulated the OSN on the epoch-making event and commended them for the choice of the theme, ‘people-centred Eye Care.’
He affirmed that this is the direction that eye care and general health care should follow; in line with global best practices, considering the increasing burden of eye diseases. He thereafter called for better co-operation among Eye Care Practitioners in Nigeria, in the best interest of the public.
The Conference had other dignitaries in attendance including the Deputy Governor of Kwara State, Mr Kayode Alabi.
The OSN meeting which took place in Ilorin, Kwara State, on Thursday 2nd September 2021, was part of the engagements of the National Executive Council of NOA ably represented by the President, Dr Obinna Awiaka and the National Secretary, Dr Victor Aliche, in the state.
The Conference also availed the team, an opportunity to interact with some dignitaries including the Deputy Governor and the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Dr Raji Razaq.
Consequently, the Commissioner promised a later date for a follow-up visit for discussion on the plight of Optometrists in Kwara State. Interestingly, Kwara State Government does not have a single Optometrist in its workforce amongst other challenges.
In a similar vein, the President and the Secretary of NOA later engaged the leadership of OSN in a scheduled meeting.
The elaborate meeting extensively discussed issues bordering on eye care practice in Nigeria while exploring better ways and common grounds of partnership to foster a harmonious working relationship between the two professions.
Present in the meeting were Dr Adebayo Ogundipe, the erstwhile President of OSN and Dr Abiola Oyeleye the Vice President of OSN as at the time of the meeting who is now the new President of OSN.
As part of the resolutions reached, it was agreed that both parties would set up in-house committees to aggregate all the challenges/ grievances against each other and convene at a later date to initiate discussions on these issues.
However, this move is subject to approval by NOA members.
Furthermore, the NOA NEC team equally met with the NOA Kwara State Chapter on 4th September 2021. The meeting availed the NEC team the opportunity to appreciate the numerous challenges facing the chapter, even as steps are already being taken in addressing them.
The President on behalf of NEC appealed to the members for continued sacrifice in every little way towards ensuring that Optometry Profession takes its rightful position in the Eye Care Industry players within Nigeria and beyond.
Dr Okechukwu Egboluche
National Public Relations Officer, NOA