My first time attending the World Glaucoma Congress that was held in Boston in 2009 will forever be a memorable trip. I found it very exciting and stimulating to be part of a network of glaucoma experts (specialists) around the world with a passion to share their experiences and knowledge in different aspects of glaucoma care. The WGC, subsequently, became a must-attend for me for updates as well as sharing of experiences and research in glaucoma/glaucoma care. I was thereafter privileged to be elected a member of the Board of Governors of the World Glaucoma Association in 2019.
Currently, I am an Associate Professor and the Head of Glaucoma services in Enugu State University of Technology Teaching Hospital Parklane (ESUTTHP), Nigeria. Together with other colleagues, I also work at The Eye Specialists Hospital (TESH) Enugu - Nigeria, a large referral super-specialists private practice with a huge glaucoma patient load. Previously, I was the Chairman of the Research, Education and Training committee/Director, Post Graduate Studies at ESUTTHP until 2021. And in 2009, I had the privilege of being the Faculty Secretary for the Faculty of Ophthalmology in the West African College of Surgeons. Not too long after, I became the founding Head of the Department of Ophthalmology in ESUTTHP after heading the Department of Surgery.
My research interests are centered around earlier glaucoma diagnosis in various communities, African glaucoma genetics and glaucoma surgical interventions (including lasers).
The silent blinding nature of glaucoma has always been a burden for me. Incidentally, the Southeastern part of Nigeria has the highest prevalence of glaucoma and glaucoma blindness in the country. And so, in 2002, I pioneered numerous glaucoma awareness campaigns in the South-Eastern region of Nigeria through the mass media and through religious, social, and secular organizations; alongside periodic free glaucoma screenings (three to five times a year). Over the years, my team has screened about half a million people.
When the first World Glaucoma Day was commenced by the WGA in 2008, it increased glaucoma awareness in no small measure globally; this further fueled my passion. Subsequently, in 2010, the WGA converted the World Glaucoma Day to the World Glaucoma Week which delightfully gave everyone a larger, official timeframe for awareness campaigns and screening exercises.
WGA continues to be a wonderful platform for constant positive change to our glaucoma care, providing great opportunities for networking and collaboration with outstanding glaucoma experts from all over the world. This has broadened my horizon. Personally, I am proud but mostly grateful to be a part of this organization through which I have collaborated with colleagues who have become friends across the continents. I am eager to see what great things the future holds for this organization as we rise above every challenge.