Dr. Ogugua Ndubuisi Okonkwo is an illustrious son of Nigeria. He has won great acclaim and recognition from around the world as an eye surgeon. He is a physician with a difference. He is an extremely resourceful ophthalmologist.
Ogugua Okonkwo was born into the family of Mr. and Mrs. Alphonso Okonkwo of Ezinifite in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State on the 22nd day of September, 1971. Graduating from the University of Nigeria with an MBBS qualification in 1995, he obtained a Diploma certificate in Ophthalmology from the Royal College of Ophthalmology in London and then a Fellowship in Ophthalmology from the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, both in 2002. Following this, he went on to successfully undertake a two-year Vitreoretina fellowship at the Eye Foundation Retina Institute in 2004 (under the mentorship of Dr Kunle Hassan who is the pioneer vitreoretina surgeon in Nigeria).
He is widely travelled and was exposed to retina surgery at an early stage in his career, resulting in his contributing greatly to the development of the vitreoretina department at the Eye Foundation Retina Institute where he was retained as faculty and trainer due to outstanding contributions made during his earlier fellowship days. The Eye Foundation Retina Institute is the foremost indigenous vitreoretina department and has pioneered the provision of high quality, state of the art technology for Ophthalmic and Vitreoretina surgical services for over two decades in Nigeria.
Since then, Dr Okonkwo has contributed immensely to the further growth and development of Ophthalmic and Vitreoretina Surgery in the department, country and region. He has pioneered several ophthalmic surgical techniques in Nigeria, most notable of which is performing the first autologous retina transplant in the country. He has also pioneered the implantation of multifocal intraocular lens implants in Nigeria. He has performed many sight restoring vitreoretina surgeries for complex retina diseases (which is his subspecialty), saving the sight of many citizens of the country.
His passion lies in Ophthalmic and Vitreoretina surgery and his goal is to advance the practice and training of Vitreoretina Surgery in the country and region. He is currently program director and director of postgraduate studies at the Eye Foundation; and in this capacity has made significant contributions to Ophthalmic and Vitreoretina training in Nigeria. He has supervised and trained several ophthalmologists, fellows and retina physicians locally and abroad. In this light, he is very active in organizing scientific and educational conferences, meetings and teaching courses at home and abroad.
He organized the world famous international retina detachment teaching course (with faculty led by Prof. Ingrid Kreissig) in Lagos, Nigeria in 2011. He is an invited speaker in vitreoretina sessions in several local and international conferences and symposia. He represented Nigeria as organizing committee member and speaker at the inaugural Retina World Congress, in Orlando USA 2017.
He is a founding member and executive of the Nigerian Vitreoretina Society (NVRS). He is also an active member of several local and international societies and professional bodies including the Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria (OSN), International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO), and African Ophthalmology Council (AOC). He is the first Nigerian member of the International Society for the Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision (ISCEV). Also, he is the Nigerian representative and delegate at the American Society of Retina Specialist (ASRS), European Society of Retina Specialists (EURETINA), and the Nigerian representative at the Arab-African Society of Retina Specialist (AASRS).
He serves on the current board of the MEAVRS (Middle East African Vitreoretina Society) and is the African representative and organizing committee member of the famous Cairo Retina Meeting (CRM). He serves on the board of the Eye Foundation as well as other charitable and philanthropic organizations. He is a Guardian of the Heritage Society of the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Okonkwo is the pioneer Editor of the Vitreoretina Times and now is the current Editor of the Nigerian Journal of Vitreoretina Diseases (NJVD). A reviewer of several local and international ophthalmic journals, he has published several journal articles. He is the founder of AfriRetina.net, an initiative focused on creating awareness of retina diseases and improving access to Ophthalmic/Vitreoretina services across the continent.
He has been honoured with the Excellence Leadership Award by the Compassionate Women International as well as the Achievers Award by Inspiration International.
Above all, his God given faith inspires him in the pursuit of excellence in the delivery of vitreoretina and ophthalmic services to the people of this great country.
He is happily married to Chinyere and blessed with two lovely daughters.
It is in recognition of his contributions to national development in the field of Human Medicine & Orthodox Medical Practice (Ophthalmology) that Dr Ogugua Ndubuisi Okonkwo is deemed worthy to be conferred with the Development In Nigeria Merit Award which is part of the 2017 PSR National Awards.