February 26, 2021

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NOA issues new guidelines for eye screening exercises to curb quackery in Delta

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By Elo Edremoda, Warri

To curb quackery and indiscriminate eye screening exercises in its profession, the Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA) has directed individuals or groups who seek to conduct eye screening outreaches to obtain authorization from it (NOA) or the Delta State Ministry of Health.

The state chapter of NOA, in a statement signed by the chairman of ethics/disciplinary committee, Dr. Isaac Ejebe, assured that the new development is not “a plot to witch-hunt anyone.”

The statement which was made available to newsmen in Warri, listed nine guidelines, including a current practising licence for the optometrist(s) conducting the eye screening.

Parts of the statement reads thus: “indiscriminate eye screening exercises/outreach without due authorization in the form of a covering letter from the Association and/or the Ministry of Health are prohibited forthwith in Delta state.

“Patients must be examined under condition very close to clinical environment viz; Visual Acuity, VA, testing distance of 6 meters, appropriate illumination for various investigations etc.

Proherbarium

“Screening exercise must be completely or partly sponsored. There must be absence of deception and professional ethics must be adhered to at all costs.

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“Exercise must not exceed three (3) days unless otherwise permission has been given by the appropriate authority in that regard.

“The Optometrist must have a current practice licence and must have been participating in the association’s activities.

“The location for the screening must be within the remote area, e.g. No screening should be allowed in major cities/towns where patients can easily access optometrist services.

“Interns and corps members used during screening should be supervised by an optometrist not less than three (3) years post NYSC during screening.

“A comprehensive report of the exercise must be submitted to the Association for future references.”