Optician's life-changing journey from Nigeria to Falmouth

Optician's life-changing journey from Nigeria to Falmouth <i>(Image: Specsavers)</i>
Optician's life-changing journey from Nigeria to Falmouth (Image: Specsavers)

A Falmouth optician has spoken about her life-changing journey from Nigeria to the Cornish town she now calls home.

It was in celebration of national Learning at Work Week (May 13-19 May).

28-year-old Chidinma Jibueze shared her professional transition from being a doctor of optometry in Nigeria to becoming an optometrist at Specsavers Falmouth.

She settled in Falmouth 15 months ago following an opportunity from Specsavers' conversion course, designed to help overseas professionals utilise their skills in the UK.

Ms Jibueze said: "Since being in Falmouth, the people have been so welcoming, the general environment is safe for work and for my personal life, and the views are absolutely amazing.

"I also enjoy the town’s parades, such as the military parades, which are really exciting."

She also revealed the stark contrast between her past job in Nigeria and her current one.

The primary difference being in Nigeria, the optician shoulders the entire responsibility of the patient without any avenue for a second opinion, a practice she feels is not always in the patient's best interest.

The other significant change, as Ms Jibueze points out, is: "In Nigeria we have limited access to eyecare facilities, whereas in the UK the optometrist has much better facilities, much better tools and better support to help them do their job."

A greater frequency of eye conditions prevail in Nigeria as access to eye care facilities is limited, particularly in rural settings.

Sadly, many individuals end up with impaired sight or even blindness.

Following her arrival in Falmouth, the town’s Specsavers branch assisted her with the conversion pre-registration course in addition to covering her examination and professional fees.

Falmouth Packet:
Falmouth Packet:

Daniel Stimpson, a director at Specsavers Falmouth, highly commended Ms Jibueze.

He said: "Since joining our team, Chidinma has done amazingly well.

"The most incredible thing about Chidinma is her as a person.

"She is always positive and provides amazing care."

Ms Jibueze hopes to use her newfound skills in her home country.

She said: "For my long-term future, I intend to extend my professional career to my home in Nigeria through a charity eyecare foundation, where my husband and I can make eyecare as accessible as possible".