Prior to the campaign, several sensitisation campaigns had been organised to create public awareness on the dangers.
Lenses are meant for specific health needs. Usually, they are prescribed by eye specialists and sold in specific optical shops. Today, lenses are sold along the roadside, business centres, travel agencies and even in drinking spots. Hawkers sell to ignorant customers at cheap prices. Such lenses are not prescribed by a specialist or worst still not recommended by any certified optometrist. As a result, many more people are getting their eyes damaged by the lenses and if care is not taken, millions would get blind when the state of the eyes damaged from the use of fake lenses reach the irreversible.
Presently, many pirates operate as opticians taking advantage of the limited number of trained opticians in the country. Statistics from the National Order of Opticians in Cameroon show that amongst 20 million Cameroonians the ratio is one optician for every 10,000 people. In that case, the present need stands at 2,000 qualified opticians whereas there are only 100. Every day, several eyes are being damaged by untrained persons who pass for opticians and optometrists. In a bid to curb the illegal practice in the country, the Ministry of Public Health in collaboration with the National Order of Opticians of Cameroon (NOOC), has launched a campaign to close down illegal optical clinics. The operation kicked off in Yaounde two weeks ago and in Douala on August 19, 2016.
Prior to the campaign, several sensitisation campaigns had been organised to create public awareness on the dangers of buying fake medicated glasses. Last year, a control campaign of optical offices located in Cameroon was equally organised. During the campaign, the NOOC took time to explain to users the laws governing the sector. The order invited young people from different regions of Cameroon to submit an application for the entrance examination to the School of Optics and Refraction of Yaounde. Those who practice in private were also called to enter the continuous training cycle in cooperation with the Rector of the Paris Academy. After sensitisation, the NOOC team is determined to restore order in the sector by chasing out fake vendors.