Any professional body must have sets of regulations to maintain its ethical standards in providing services to the public and optometry is by no means different, despite many distractions militating against the noble profession. In Nigeria, Optometry is regulated by a statutory body known as Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Registration Board of Nigeria (ODORBN which was established by an act of parliament, Cap 09 of the laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 formerly known as Decree No. 34 of December, 1989). Part 1 section 1 Establishment of Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Registration Board of Nigeria.
The governing and regulatory body for the profession of Optometry and Dispensing Optics was brought to life with the signing of Decree No. 34 of 1989. Prior to the board’s establishment, indeed prior to the signing of Decree No. 34, the Optometry profession in Nigeria was unregulated. Under the aging of the Nigerian Optometric Association, which has been
formed since 1968 as The Association of Optical Practitioners (in Nigeria), the move to legalize the Optometry profession began, with the obvious implication for the formation of the board.
Understanding, practitioners with acceptable qualifications were concerned about the unchecked practices going on in the country, which had obvious implications for the visual health of Nigerians. The first provision of that Law is the establishment of the Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians’ Registration Board of Nigeria. The act of parliament, Cap 09 of the law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (formerly known as Decree No. 34 1989) defines, Optometry as health-care profession specializing in the art and science of vision care and whose scope of practice includes:-
a) Eye examinations to determine refractive errors and other departures from the optimally healthy and visually efficient eye;
b) Correction of refractive errors using spectacles, contact lenses, low vision aids other devices;
c) Correction of errors of binocularity by means of vision training (orthoptics);
d) Diagnosis and management of minor ocular infections which do not pose a threat to the integrity of the ocular or visual system; and
e) Ocular first aid.