NOA NEC Calls for Accreditation of Unilorin Optometry Programme

*High Powered Meeting with UNILORIN Vice-Chancellor
*On the Spot Assessment of Optometry Facilities
**Town Hall Meeting with Optometry Students

As part of the initiatives to strengthen the Optometry professional spread and training in Nigeria; the Nigerian Optometric Association(NOA), National Executive Council(NEC), paid a strategic courtesy visit to the Vice-Chancellor University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Prof.S. A Abdulkareem on Thursday, 2nd September 2021.

The NOA NEC led by the President Dr Obinna Awiaka and the National Secretary, Dr Victor Kelechi Aliche, was accompanied by the Chairman of NOA Kwara State Chapter and the HOD Of School of Optometry UNILORIN, Prof. Mathew Oriowo and his Vice-Chairman, Dr Chinwendu Oguejiofor who is the Chief Optometrist at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH).

In his presentation, the NOA President thanked the Vice-Chancellor for sparing time to receive the team, even as early as 8.30 am amidst his tight schedule and commended him for his pragmatic leadership.

He equally applauded the VC for the establishment of the School of Optometry in the prestigious institution and the support is given to the school, so far.

However, the President bemoaned the lack of adequate Teaching Staff in the School of Optometry which has hampered its accreditation for awhile. He then pleaded with the Vice-Chancellor to use his good offices and as the father of all, to ensure that the trend is reversed by creating employment opportunities for more suitably qualified Optometrists to complement the current teaching staff.

In his response, the Vice-Chancellor appreciated the team for the visit and acknowledged the contributions of the School of Optometry and Vision Science, ably led by Prof. Oriowo, in the improvement of Eye health of the University Community and beyond; as well as its significant contribution to the internally generated revenue(IGR) of the institution.

The VC further indicated his willingness to do whatever he can, to ensure that the School of Optometry and Vision Science meets the requirements to be accredited, the next time the exercise would be undertaken by the Optometrist and Dispensing Opticians’ Registration Board of Nigeria (ODORBN).

The VC regrettably informed the team about a current embargo placed on employment at all federal institutions by the federal government.

Nevertheless, to show his level of commitment to the request by the team, he, there and then offered an employment slot on an Adjunct basis with immediate effect for an Optometrist, while equally granting a window of Sabbatical and more adjunct lecturing opportunities for qualified Optometrists.

Highlights of the visit included the presentation of souvenirs by Prof. Oriowo on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor and a photoshoot.

The team was taken around the School of Optometry and Vision Science facilities by Prof. Oriowo for on the spot assessment and further discussions.

The team also interacted with students and clinicians of the Optometry school who were reassured about choosing Optometry as a course of study.

The visit was in line with the strategic advocacy drives of the current administration and part of the tripartite engagements of the NOA leadership in Kwara State.

Dr.Okechukwu Egboluche
National Public Relations Officer

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