The Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA), has said that there are only about 4,000 optometrists in the country and 80 per cent of them are in private practice.

This, NOA has blamed on what it described as lack of enabling environment, as many optometric graduates find it difficult to get a facility were they can do their housemanship or get employment.

President of the association, Damian Echendu, stated this while addressing journalists at the weekend, in Abuja, as part of activities for the ongoing celebration of NOA’s 50 years and 42nd Annual General Meeting.

He said “the NOA is composed on high-value and well-trained members numbering over 4000, who are principally devoted to providing eye health and vision care services to the significantly underserved population of Nigerian residents in need of such.”

The president therefore tasked government on adequate facilities and equipments while advocating for at least one optometrist in every senatorial district or local government area to improve quality eye care service in the rural areas as many of them find it difficult to access healthcare.

Speaking on the ongoing NOA@50/42nd AGM, he said “a new set of members of the National Executive Council (NEC) will emerge through a general election. Every effort has been made to have a hitch-free election in order for the association to continue on the path of peace and prosperity.

“In addition to other public-targeted activities such as the “My Sight My Right” child eye health initiative extending quality eye care services to children between the ages of 5 and 14 across the country, NOA is also unveiling a publication on Optometry in Nigeria: History and Perspectives, etc.”