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KNUST Optometry Class of 2025 Ushered into Clinical Years

Wed 29 Mar 2023
WCC23 i

On March 22nd, 2023, the Department of Optometry and Visual Science at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana held its 6th White Coat Ceremony. The event which marked the beginning of the clinical years for the 2025 Optometry year group took place at the Allotey Auditorium, College of Science. The theme for this year's ceremony was "Transforming Sight, Transforming Lives”.

The ceremony was attended by several distinguished personalities, including the Prof. Mrs. Antonia Yarney Tetteh (Dean of the Faculty of Biosciences), Prof. Ben Kwaku Branoh Banful (Provost of Agriculture and Natural Resources), Prof. Osei Akoto (Dean of the Faculty of Physical Sciences), Prof. John Asiedu Larbi (Vice Dean of the Faculty of Biosciences), Prof. Caleb K. Firempong (Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology), Dr. Edmund Ilimoan Yamba (Representative of the Head of Physics), Mr. Anthony Adjapong (College of Science Registrar), Mr. Paul Nkrumah Takyi (Representative of Opticians Association of Ghana),   Mrs. Catherine Acquah (College of Science Finance Officer), Mrs. Mavis Osei Boateng (College of Science Assistant Registrar), Dr. Mohammed Abdul-Kabir (Senior Lecturer and Former Head of Department), Dr. Ahmed Abdul-Sadik (Lecturer), Dr. Emmanuel Owusu (Lecturer), Mrs. Brenda Biney (Senior Technician) along with many others.

The Head of the Department of Optometry and Visual Science, Dr. Kwadwo Owusu Akuffo in his opening address highlighted the transformative journey that the students will embark on as they begin their clinical years. He emphasized the crucial role optometrists have in improving the visual health of their patients, which has a significant impact on their quality of life. Moreover, he stressed that the transformation they seek goes beyond individual patients, and it also involves transforming the society as a whole. Dr. Akuffo urged the students to act as agents of change, promoting access to eye care services, and advocating for the importance of vision in people's lives.

Dr. Kwadwo Owusu Akuffo
Dr. Kwadwo Owusu Akuffo (Head of the Department of Optometry and Visual Science)


Following the opening remark, the ceremony continued with an address from the Provost of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Prof. Ben Kwaku Branoh Banful who spoke on behalf of the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ellis Owusu-Dabo. In his address to the students, Prof. Banful extended his heartfelt congratulations on their accomplishments and acknowledged the significance of the white coats they were about to receive. He emphasized the immense trust and confidence society has in them as healthcare professionals, along with the commitment and responsibility they carry towards their patients, colleagues, and profession. He further urged the students to wear their white coats with pride, humility, and gratitude and always remember the profound impact they will have on the lives of their future patients.

Following this, Prof. Mrs. Antonia Yarney Tetteh, who represented the Provost of the College of Science, Prof. Leonard Amekudzi, congratulated the students on their achievements and reminded them of the weight of responsibility that comes with the white coat. She highlighted the importance of professionalism and urged the students to focus on their inner qualities, rather than just their outward appearance. Prof. Tetteh discouraged negative attitudes toward clients and encouraged the students to break away from unprofessional trends.

Prof. Ben Kwaku Branoh Banful
Prof. Ben Kwaku Branoh Banful (Provost of Agriculture and Natural Resources)

After receiving their white coats, the students were led by Dr. Mohammed Abdul-Kabir to take the optometric oath. This symbolized their commitment to upholding the core values of the profession, which include excellence, empathy and lifelong learning.

Dr. Mohammed Abdul-Kabir (Senior Lecturer and Former Head of Department)
Dr. Mohammed Abdul-Kabir (Senior Lecturer and Former Head of Department)

Overall, the 6th White Coat Ceremony of the 2025 Optometry year group was a momentous occasion filled with speeches of inspiration and motivation for the incoming clinical students. The students were reminded of their immense responsibility as healthcare professionals and they were encouraged to commit to their chosen profession's core values. The ceremony ended with congratulatory messages to the students and a call to transform society by transforming sight.