Dr. Uduak Udom (1955-2019) held a Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Optometry degrees from the University of Benin, Nigeria. Following a 4-year residency, majoring in Primary Care Optometry, she earned the Fellowship of the Nigerian College of Optometrists (FNCO) in 2006. She also earned the Fellowship of the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO) in 2006. Dr. Udom also held a Master’s degree in public Health from Salus University, Pennsylvania, USA.
She volunteered in several community eye care programs, and in 2006, she attended the Train-the-Trainer program in Vision 2020/Community Eye Health (CEH). Following this, she became a facilitator in several Vision 2020/CEH workshops in Nigeria, Trinidad, Malaysia, Uganda and Ethiopia.
In 2010, Dr. Udom became the first optometrist to be awarded the U.K. Commonwealth Professional Fellowship with three months of professional development. She was hosted by the WCO, office space was provided by the U.K. College of Optometrists and she was exposed to most eye care organizations, eye hospitals, optometry training institutions and ophthalmic instrument manufacturers in the U.K.
She published several papers in both Nigerian and international optometric journals, as well as in International Society for Quality of Life Research journals, and also presented many lectures at professional meetings, conferences and universities in different parts of the world.
Dr. Udom served as the first President of Women Optometrists in Nigeria, 2000 – 2004; was the first female President of the Nigerian Optometric Association, 2006 – 2008; first female President, African Council of Optometry: 2008 – 2012; and also served on the Optometrists’ and Dispensing Opticians’ Registration Board of Nigeria, 2009 – 2011. She was Primary Care Consultant at Ceejay Vision Centre, Uyo, Nigeria; part-time instructor, Nigerian College of Optometrists and Liaison for Africa, VOSH International.
Dr. Udom served as a member of Our Children’s Vision Global Advisory Board, and as a member of the WHO Advisory Committee for the World Report on Vision.
Dr. Udom was happily married to Ezekiel Udom, who has been very supportive of her career development; and they were blessed with four children and two grandchildren.
We are deeply saddened by the passing of Immediate Past President Dr. Uduak Udom. She will be remembered as a powerful advocate for the field of optometry, as well as a colleague and friend. The WCO is making plans to honor her legacy moving forward. She will truly be missed.