Dr Damian Echendu

Dr Damian Echendu holds a Doctor of Optometry, OD (Abia State University, Uturu), a Bachelor of Law,
LL.B (University of Abuja), and a Masters in Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science, MSc
(University of Manchester, UK). Currently, a member of the Nigerian College of Optometrists and having
creditably practiced for over 25 years, Dr Echendu is a stand-out professional with an excellent blend of
skill, competence and experience.

Service to optometry started for Dr Echendu as early as his student days where he was Clinicians’ President at both junior and senior levels, displaying excellence in both responsibilities. Upon completion of his mandatory NYSC, Dr Echendu, in 1994, became the pioneer Optometrist at the State House Medical Centre, Aso Rock, Abuja, using the opportunity to deepen eye care services in the centre by creating permanent employment positions for optometrists, ophthalmologists and ophthalmic nurses. It is on record that the facility was among the first government-owned healthcare centres nationwide to allot internship placement opportunities for fresh optometrists in Nigeria at the start of internship training for optometrists in Nigeria in 1996, and has maintained such till date.

Dr Echendu’s inspirational leadership has found valuable application in various platforms within Optometry. He was a founding member of the NOA FCT Chapter along with the likes of Drs Tony Chikeze, Ozy Okonkhua, and others, subsequently serving as pioneer Vice Chairman and later, as Chair of the chapter. Dr Echendu is a serial achiever as is visible from the litany of accomplishments that has trailed every responsibility he has held. As Chapter Chairman, he initiated and instituted a multitude of value-adding initiatives that helped boost the status of the optometrist and elevated the NOA FCT Chapter to an enviable status. He mobilized and collaborated with others to equip a standard
Optometry Clinic for use at the NYSC Orientation Camp in Abuja, a novel feat in the country.

As the president of the NOA, Dr Echendu took the organization to greater heights, putting in place lots of initiatives that touched on many aspects of the organization. Aside putting in place several administrative structures to enhance efficiency, his administration engaged in highly coordinated and strategic public awareness campaigns during publicized global events like World Sight Day, World Glaucoma Week, etc, collaborating with several agencies and institutions including the Federal Roads Safety Commission (FRSC) in the process. The generation of the Nigerian National Drivers’ Vision Survey Report in 2016 was a landmark achievement. The occasion of the 50 th Anniversary of the NOA was another landmark achievement of the Echendu presidency as was the unveiling of the book, in Nigeria: History and Perspectives, and the Corporate Social Responsibility programme, My Sight My
Right, which went a long way in providing quality eye care services to Nigerian children aged between 5 and 14 free of charge. The Professional Mentorship initiative of his administration recorded great success both for its novelty, reach and impact on professionalism, as was the unrelenting fight for optometry emancipation at various fora.
Aside his membership of the NOA, Dr Echendu is a Clinical Associate of the Optometric Extension Programme Foundation (USA), and belongs to the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (USA), Ophthalmic Photographers Society (USA), Vision Science Society (USA), Association of Optometrists in Public Health Care of Nigeria (AOPHCN), among others.

A serial winner and recipient of numerous awards, two of Dr Damian Echendu’s standout recognitions are those of his Fellowship of the Nigerian Optometric Association (FNOA) and the African Patriotic Personality of the Year award from the League of African Development Students (LEADS), among others. A husband and father, Dr Damian Echendu is currently a member of the Public Health Committee of the World Council of Optometry (WCO), Chair of the Legal and Legislative Committee of the African Council of Optometry (AFCO) and serves as the Immediate Past President of the Nigerian Optometric Association.

Dr. Damian can be reached here: ippresident@noang.org

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