Abia state university and State University of New York college of optometry(SUNY) of The United States of America have sealed a pact on training and practice of the profession in Nigeria.
The Institutional collaboration was signed by the Vice Chancellor of Abia state University, Professor Uche Ikonne and the President of Sunny college of optometry professor David Heath.
Abia state University a foremost optometry training institution in the country runs a combined four Year residency programme in seven sub-specialties of optometry leading to award of fellowship(FNCO) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). This offers optometry practitioners the opportunity to qualify both as consultants and as academic faculty members.
Similarly , SUNY offers the combined Optometry Residency and Graduate programme, which is a unique slot an opportunity for optometrists to develop advanced clinical competency through residency training while working on graduate research degrees of M.Sc. and Ph.D.
Commenting on the feat, the Vice chancellor, professor Ikonne said: While this MoU Covers Every Optometry Training in Nigeria and the Postgraduate collage of optometrists and its seven specialties, the educational affiliations will expose faculties , staff, residents and students to current trends in optometry, especially in the area of vision care and research activities in vision sciences:
Professor Ikonne, who as a pioneer staff of the Abia state university optometry department, had at different times served as the Head of the Department; Dean, Director, Deputy provost, college of Medicine and health sciences, Deputy Vice chancellor(Academic) and Rector of the Abia state Polytechnic, Aba before his appointment as the Vice chancellor. He is also the Registrar of the Nigeria Post-graduate college of Optometrists(NPGCO)
While lauding the new national concept of professional training programme, he hinted that the National university commission(NUC) has approved the request of the optometrists and dispensing opticians Registration Board of Nigeria(ODORBN) to partner with its residency training programme
Speaking at the MOU signing ceremony, The SUNY optometry college president, Dr Heath said that eye and vision health remain notably absent as a population health priority in the overarching public health and healthcare systems, adding that it was also under-represented in strategic plans that address the impact of chronic diseases and conditions within the USA.