Focus on Yacouba Traoré, an eyewear specialist

Optics is a thriving industry in the land of honest men. The optician is the eyewear technician. He works with ophthalmologists. This is an area of ​​work that requires a minimum of knowledge. The work also seems to be so meticulous that rigor is required when making the glasses. In order to appropriate this field of work, Yacouba Traoré, an optician for many years, has lifted a corner of the veil about this profession, which often leads to confusion with ophthalmology. He is an optician and owner of Mat Optique.

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Yacouba Traoré has been working in optics since 1987. After obtaining his baccalaureate, he tells that he has applied for a Soviet scholarship to continue his studies there. Because he ultimately did not know which field to specialize in, an opportunity came to him. Unknown to him in the field of optics, circumstances or even fate offered him a position, he accepted and took the challenge brilliantly.

I admit I didn’t know the job from the start. When I got my BAC, I had applied for a Soviet scholarship without knowing what I was going to study. At that time I was offered the job of optics in Ouagadougou. As an optician had just left, we wanted to recruit someone at Foot Optique and I was lucky enough to be retained in this position. So I started training there since 1987 he explained.

Training at IOTA

From that moment he started his training as an optician with optical football, which he describes as ” first optical house then. For more than ten years, Yacouba Traoré devoted himself wholeheartedly to the training of a profession of which he was basically ignorant. In 2002 he explains that he did an internship to deepen his knowledge in Mali in Bamako, precisely at IOTA (Institute of Tropical Ophthalmology in Africa).

After a while at IOTA, his education is sanctioned with a certificate. And there he returns home to continue his optical football mission. After his return, things started to take a turn, he said, that wouldn’t necessarily be in his favor.

So he decides to leave to explore other skies. Now a second professional experience begins for him. He works for his own account by creating the optician’s house Matt Optical in 2012.

I spent time at IOTA and I had a certificate and when I came back to optical foot, not that I immediately resigned, I stayed but in the meantime we talked about restructuring, I thought about it and I thought it was good for me.

I had already obtained a certain number of materials, so I decided to hand in my resignation and then leave. That’s how it’s been ever since, exactly in 2012 Which i work for myselfhe inquired.

A training center in Bobo-Dioulasso

As for the profession of optician, Yacouba Traoré emphasizes that whoever wants to try it must undergo training. He hinted that the training can range from 3 years to 6 years. For the occasion, there is a training center in Bobo-Dioulasso to support the students.

It’s a good job, but you just have to recognize that it’s squarely in the area of ​​health. It is not given to anyone to get up like that and then embrace the career of optics. In any case, it requires a solid training in this area because I had already learned optical football for 13 years.

And after the certificate I got the green light to start working for myself. So since then that’s what I’m in and it’s not bad. The optician profession requires for some a training of 3 to 6 years. For those who have had the chance to go abroad to Germany or France, it is 3 to 4 years to be an optical engineer. In Burkina we have founded a school here in Bobo, namely the Guimbi Ouattara school ‘ he taught us.

Difference Between Optics and Ophthalmology

Optics and ophthalmology are fields of activity that are subject to confusion. It is true that the two domains come under health, but there is no question of merging them.

According to the specialist, optics is squarely in the field of corrective lenses and an optician is precisely the one who has studied optics. That is, everything that has to do with optics. In short, the optician is the official technician of corrective lenses.

Yacouba Traore, optician
Yacouba Traore, optician

As an ophthalmologist, it is the doctor who consults the patient, looks at his eyes, offers him products to treat the eyes and also makes the prescription of corrective lenses. The ophthalmologist does not normally make corrective lenses. His work is limited to consultation.

However, it indicates that with experience the optician may have some knowledge in the field of ophthalmology. But if you don’t have the right skills, it’s dangerous to prescribe. Therefore, he advises the patient to go to a consultation to bring a prescription in good shape.

The optician is the eyewear technician. And it’s quite a complex matter. So Yacouba Traoré admits to only working with recipes. In carrying out his activity, he makes sure that when a patient sends in a prescription, he first studies the feasibility of the thing before letting him try out the frames. When the frame is suitable for the person, the actual work begins.

I have the machine, I can trace well in the rules of the art. There are many types of glass. There are spherical glasses, there are cylindrical glasses. Once you take them, you have to automatically run them through the device on the pediment to find the corners and now you proceed with the cutting. I also have the machine to cut as soon as I’m done, I call the patient who comes to try to see if it’s okay or if adjustments need to be made and I’ll do it”, he detailed.

Raw material availability

Raw materials are needed for making and repairing glasses. Listening to Yacouba Traoré, in Burkina Faso, the raw material is both accessible and inaccessible. Indeed, he says that minor repairs are available and this allows them to keep the order when needed.

“We, opticians, can, for example, order small corrections that we deposit with us. That is, the corrections that come out soon. So we keep it a little bit so we don’t want to go and buy it every time. In this case, we take directly from stock to do the job “Reacted Yacouba Traore.

One of the machines involved in the manufacture of glasses
One of the machines involved in the manufacture of glasses

With regard to the inaccessibility of the raw material, Yacouba Traoré indicates that there are often regulations that are quite complicated and the supplier does not have the product on site.

In this case, the supplier who has the right machines takes care of the production of the problematic raw materials. In this regard, he adds that the disadvantage is the waiting time for the order to be received, which can be up to two weeks.

Some advice on the anarchist use of glasses

As an optician, he advises everyone not to buy glasses from street vendors. † It is true that there are simple glasses, neutral glasses with which you can protect yourself against the sun and dust. The good reflex when you take glasses to wear, before wearing you have to think if you really know that what I am wearing here are not correctors ‘ he clarified.

In addition, there are often street vendors who unknowingly sell glasses that have been corrected. If you take these types of glasses, you should consult an optician.

In response to the use of Photo gray, Yacouba Traoré advises that its use is fine and is recommended. Because, he says, in the shade they are clear glasses, and when the sun starts to rise until 4 p.m., it gets dark. In addition, they protect against UV rays and strong light at night because it reflects a lot. This is recommended when using a computer. And they can be prescribed even without vision problems.

Spectacle monster intended for sale
Spectacle monster for sale

In addition, it specifies for glasses users that it is an eye compensation system. So he insists that the moment a problem is detected in the eyes, the ophthalmologist knows what is appropriate and that it would be ideal to follow the instructions to the letter.

No address book, no customer!

Like any profession, there are difficulties and the field of optics is not left out. According to Yacouba Traoré, it is difficult to make a name for yourself in that area. To really get your head around the water, you have to work with insurance companies or clinics. According to him, this situation disadvantages those who do not have a well-stocked address book. A chance for him to express his displeasure.

The difficulties are many. But in my case it is not able to handle all insurance in this country. There are many insurance companies, but today the great difficulty in integrating an insurance network is the cross and the banner. As I said, those who are lucky enough to find knowledge in the circuits works well for them. But also those who have no contact with insurance, they really do not have it easy.

Although I’m a professional, I’ve been in the business for years and I know I’m doing a good job because since I’ve been making the glasses for SONABEL agents, no one has complained about these glasses yet.

This is the real problem we have. We can’t easily work with insurance. I don’t think it’s normal and not easy at all. Because we are all here, we do the work, we pay the taxes and we have the right to offer our services anywhere in the city of Ouagadougou “, he was offended.

The League of Opticians

However, he congratulates and encourages the structures such as SONABEL that give their agents free rein to choose the optician they want at the end of their medical visit without going through the insurance policies.

Despite all these difficulties, Yacouba Traoré informs that his field of activity is governed by the Opticians’ Association, but also by an Opticians’ Association. For now, he points out that they are working on making one merger in Ouagadougou to come together for the development of their sector.

Yacouba Traoré is not only an optician, but he also repairs lenses, frames, frames… he also sells all things eyewear.

Aminata Catherine SANOU

Burkina 24


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