The Federal Government, through the Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Registration Board of Nigeria (ODORBN), has warned fake practitioners to desist from practicing or be ready to face the full wrath of the law.
ODORBN Chairman, Governing Board Professor Eleazar Ikonne, who addressed newsmen yesterday in Abuja after the foundation laying ceremony of ODORBN administrative head office complex, appealed to Nigerians to report quacks and desist from patronizing them.
Prof Ikonne added that Government would continue to be a thorn in the flesh quacks to ensure that they stop endangering the eyes of Nigerians.
He, however, encouraged citizens to frequently go for eye check up when they experience frequent itches and pains, especially children to address the problem because it deteriorates.
“We don’t regulate the activities of quacks because they are quacks. We only regulate professionals. And we regulate their practices to make sure that they renew their licenses to make that they practice in a conducive atmosphere and according to the specification of what the clinic should be.
“But, we report quacks and get them arrested because their offence is not against optometrists, but against the constitution of the Federal Rupublic of Nigeria. The crime is against the State not necessarily against the profession. It is not a personal thing; it is what every Nigeria should be wary of and be able to report.
“So, don’t take it that it is our profession only. What we do is for people to have confidence in qualified professionals and because of that, we take interest in reporting those who are quacks.
“It is the duty of every Nigerian that is why encourage them not to patronise a quack because when they patronise quacks they are making their business to boom” he said.
He added that, ” when people have eye problem the first port of call is for them to go to the clinic of optometrists. They are trained to listen to their complain and take history of your health and carry out diagnostic procedures in order to elicit what is causing the problem.
“Because they are systemic conditions that the first appearance is in the vision. If you meet somebody that is not properly trained the first he is going to do is to encourage you to wear glasses.
“But with proper diagnosis, a professional will know if there is a system condition that is causing the effect of blur vision.
“For example, if one has some stage of diabetes, he may not even know until when there is a blur vision.”
Meanwhile, ODORBN Registrar and CEO, Professor Ebele Bridget Uzodike, noted that over 50 per cent of the entire Northern population of the country suffer from eye problems, while in the South and West, the percentage would be between 15 and 20%.
Speaking on the building, she said if completed, it would help the organisation function effectively and also reduce cost of paying rent.
She proposed that the edifice would be completed in the next three years with the cooperation of stakeholders.