Chief Executive Officer and Registrar of Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Registration Board, Professor Ebele Uzodike, and other practitioners have stressed the importance of Continuing Professional Development, CPD, in eye care service in Nigeria.
They spoke on the sidelines of the recently concluded CPD held at Joy Eye Care Institute, Port Harcourt, and N-Consult CPD in Optometry Centre, Lagos, respectively.
The registrar said CPD was conceptualised by the board to update the knowledge and skills of practicing optometrists in Nigeria, as well as serve as a requirement for the renewal of annual practice license.
According to the CEO, the relevance is that eye care service is technologically based and with the advancement in technology, there is need to update the competences and skills of optometry doctors in order to improve the quality of eye services given to Nigerians. “The CPD training held recently at Joy Eye Institute, Port Harcourt, and N-Consult Continuing Professional Development Programme in Optometry, Lagos, met all the requirements, as the centres are well equipped with modern equipment and manpower to give the required update to participants.”
The theme of the Port Harcourt CPD was “Emergency care in optometric setting” with the sub-theme: “Ocular Urgencies and Emergencies”. The Lagos event had as theme “The Art Of Contact Lens Fitting: A Hands-On Workshop”. The seminars were attended by practicing optometrists in the public health sector, community and rural practicing optometrists and primary eye care administrators.
The registrar noted that the board is making efforts to ensure that professionals acquaint themselves with recent developments in the eye care sub-sector of the health profession in areas such as instrument, discoveries, patient approach, hospital management amongst others.
According to her, “we try to get our members acquainted and updated, and the only way we can do that is through continuing professional development, through seminars, conferences and other capacity building programmes and we ensure that any CPD organised by the board, those who attend earn 15 credit points.“
“The programmes we had in Port Harcourt and Lagos are part of the continuing education programme of the board; we have to upgrade the knowledge of optometrists every year. Last July, we held our national conference in Abuja and after that, we held zonal conferences, we held one in Lagos, a second one in Port Harcourt on Thursday, November 26, while the third in the series was held in Benin City on December 5 at Randheki Royal Hotel, Benin.
Also commenting on the importance of CPD, the immediate past Chairman of the board, Prof. Frank Iwuagwu, described the programme as critical for the enhancement of the profession and urged all members to embrace it.
“The seminar I attended in Port harcourt, organised by Joy Eye Care Centre is an example of why we use consultants for the provision of CPD. It was very rich in training and theory. Indeed, this new system of using consultants for the provision of CPD would provide excellent services to professionals both in Nigeria and abroad. It provides opportunities for professionals to update themselves on modern developments. The new system is positively competitive, bringing internationalisation of knowledge imparted during the seminar.
Another participant, Dr Favour Emele Orji from Favorite Eye Clinic, Abuja, said: “I had a swell time in Port Harcourt and the topic, “Ocular Emergencies in an Optometric Setting” is a topic I have yearned for. I wish to come around and learn more whenever I am in Port Harcourt. The centre and the board should keep up the good work.”
On his part, Dr. Lucky Kina from Braithwaithe Memorial Specialist Hospital, Port Harcourt, said: “I am glad that I participated in the training. I have gained so much knowledge and improved my skills.
The CPD policy is laudable. I thank the board immensely. I will put new things in place for the benefit of my patients.”

READ ALSO  Put birth control in place right after childbirth