Group photograph at the maiden Woman Optometrists In Nigeria Conference in Lagos.
By Kemi Akintokun
Prof. Ebele Uzodike, Registrar, Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Registration Board of Nigeria (ODORBN), has urged female optometrists to extend more medical outreaches to rural areas for more access to eye care.
Uzodike made this known at the maiden Women Optometrists in Nigeria (WON) Conference held in Lagos on Saturday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the conference is ‘The Empowered Woman”
She said: ”Free medical eye screening should be done in rural areas because a lot of people there are underprivileged and do not have access to eye care.
”The urban areas like Lagos have lots of eye clinics were people can walk in to examine or get treatment for their eyes compare to people in the rural areas.
”Instead of having these free medical outreaches in the cities, they should be held in the rural areas to target the vulnerable and poor who need these care urgently.”
She commended the body for organising the conference which had brought women folks in the profession together to forge ahead.
The registrar noted that 70 per cent of optometrists in the country were women, adding that their contribution to optometry has transformed the profession.
Speaking also, Dr Obinna Awiaka, the National President of Nigeria Optometric Association (NOA) commended members of WON for all their giant strides and impact in optometry.
Awiaka noted that the association which remain an affiliate of NOA has contributed in no small measure in reducing blindness in the country.
Awiaka said: ”Today in Nigeria, the numbers and positions occupied by women optometrists are not only increasing but they have outnumbered their male counterparts.
”I appreciate all the wonderful and meaningful work you do, especially balancing the demands of a job and your various home.
”The theme of this conference says it all; when empowered work together, they can bring peace and prosperity to the world.”
Also, Dr Eniola Ajayi, the Ambassador of Nigeria to Netherlands, said that female optometrists were professionals of immense pedigree owing to the care they provided.
”Women optometrists combine good medical training with clear optical understanding in the care of vision which remains one of the most priceless organs of the body.
”The training and attention to details we learnt makes it possible for us to work as entrepreneurs or administrators.
”It is my hope that we will continue to be empowered and have fun with the job of ensuring good sight for all,” Ajayi said.
Speaking earlier, Dr Ogechi Nwokedi, the President of WON, said the conference was initiated to avail women optometrists the opportunity to network, learn, share ideas and support one another.
Nwokedi said:”This conference has been long conceived and been birthed today for us to come together as one.
”The objective of this conference is geared at vision and sight conversation and also ensuring that people in remote areas are served.
”Also, as a way of supporting each other, several initiatives to educate, train and build capacity are being provided for members.”
She said that since its inception, the association had reached thousands of underprivileged Nigerians providing free eye care.
The President added that the body was looking forward to healthy national and global collaborations to enhance its objective, thereby transcending the shore Nigeria.
NAN reports that the guest speaker of the conference, Dr Yetunde Adeshina, the Managing Director, Prima Garnet Africa, spoke on the topic: ”The Empowered Woman: The Woman, The Brand”.
The Wife of the Lagos State Governor and the wife of the state’s Deputy Governor were both represented at the the conference. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Dianabasi Effiong/Vivian Ihechu