It is with great sadness that Salus announces the recent passing of Master of Public Health (MPH) alumna and former president of the World Council of Optometry, Uduak Udom, OD, MPH ’15. She was 63-years-old.
“We all mourn the untimely loss of Dr. Uduak Udom,” said Dr. Michael Mittelman, president of Salus. “From the first time I met her, I was totally impressed with her passion for public health, in particular, the way she embraced the challenges of trying to help reduce the suffering of people who were visually disabled.”
A native of Nigeria and a leader in optometry in Africa who has practiced since 1978, Dr. Udom became a Fellow of both the American Academy of Optometry and Nigerian College of Optometrists in 2006 and was elected president of the African Council of Optometry (AFCO) in 2010, as the first female to hold that office.
As president of AFCO, Dr. Udom promoted a review of the AFCO constitution and mission statement to reflect the public health relevance of optometry. She was instrumental in forging a relationship with Salus University that resulted in the establishment of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between AFCO and the University to offer partial scholarships for African optometrists to earn an online Master of Public Health degree.
Dr. Udom was installed as president of the World Council of Optometry (WCO) in August of 2015.
“Her leadership of the WCO played a key role in the organization becoming a more effective vehicle for change globally,” said Dr. Mittelman.
“Dr. Udom’s dedication, enthusiasm, and tireless efforts will reap benefits for decades to come,” said Anthony Di Stefano, OD, MEd, MPH, FAAO, director of the MPH program. “Salus is proud of her many accomplishments, especially her presidency of WCO. She will be sorely missed as a voice for advancing public health optometry throughout the world and her friendship and warm and infectious personality will live in our memories.”
Dr. Mittelman agrees, “I know I speak for the entire Salus community when I convey our most sincere condolences to Dr. Udom’s family and friends. Her mark on this world is one of compassion, excellence and commitment. We will miss her.”