The Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA) actively participated in the recently concluded AFCO Conference held in Ho, Volta Region, Ghana between 19th October to 21st October 2023. The Conference had in attendance delegates from over 14 Countries including Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, DR Congo and Tanzania among others.
Other Countries, which could not attend physically, had the opportunity to join virtually as the Conference adopted a hybrid model.
The NOA was represented by the President, Dr Anderson Chimeziri and the National Secretary Dr Victor Kelechi Aliche, while the Registrar of ODORBN, Dr Obinna Awiaka who served as the AFCO Electoral Committee Chairman was also in attendance.
The theme of the Conference, which was a joint conference of the Ghana Optometric Association and AFCO, is Expanding Optometry Practice in Africa: Focus on Training, Scope and Legislation.
In his welcome speech, the GOA President, Prof. Boadi-Kusi Samuel Bert welcomed all delegates of AFCO and GOA who attended and assured delegates of a memorable stay throughout the period of the Conference. He recalled that the last time Ghana hosted AFCO was in 2012 and that after eleven years, Optometry in Ghana has grown significantly in numbers, structures, leadership and scope of practice.
He informed the audience that the GOA had just received approval for the Scope of Practice and Job description of Optometry in Ghana. This he noted had been a long battle, which has come to fruition. The President equally noted that the GOA have equally developed a draft Code of Ethics and Conducts including social media regulations for practitioners in Ghana.
Other highlights of the Conference include the induction of new Optometrists into the Ghana Optometric Association, scientific sessions delving into various aspects of Clinical Optometry, product exhibitions, presentations and tourism.
Above all, the Conference came to a climax with an electoral process, which saw the emergence of NOA candidate, Dr Ozy Okonokhua as the Treasurer General to retain the position hitherto held by Nigeria.