After years of distinguished and dedicated service in the field of ophthalmology and leadership, Professor Ayotunde Ajaiyeoba, of the Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, is set to retire.
In recognition of his invaluable work, the Department of Ophthalmology is hosting a valedictory programme in his honour with details as follows:
Theme: Eye Health in Nigeria: Integrating Eye Care Towards Universal Health Coverage
Date: Friday, 8th September 2023
Venue: B.O. Osuntokun Auditorium, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, UCH premises Ibadan.
Keynote Speaker: Professor Alekhide Ernest Omoti, Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Benin, Honorary Consultant Ophthalmologist to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) and Chairman, National Eye Health Committee of Nigeria
You can also be part of the event virtually:
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 883 7940 7379
We look forward to a great event as colleagues, friends, family, and well-wishers come together to celebrate the illustrious career of Professor Ayotunde Ajaiyeoba.
Early Life and Education
Ayotunde Idowu Ajaiyeoba was born on September 8th, 1953, into a devout Christian family. He is the third and only male child of five children of Mr. Isaiah Durodola Ajaiyeoba from Itubaba in Ibadan and Mrs Mary Monilola Ajaiyeoba (nee Akindele) from Aremu also in Ibadan. He attended St. Luke's Demonstration School, Molete in Ibadan from 1960 to 1965 before proceeding to Ibadan Grammar School, Molete from 1960 to 1970. He later proceeded to Comprehensive High School Aiyetoro in Ogun State for his Higher School Certificate education.
His university educational journey began at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, where he pursued undergraduate studies in medicine. He spent five years there, graduating with an M.B.B.S. degree in July 1978. His brilliance and exceptional dedication to his studies earned him the prestigious Federal Government Scholarship during his university years, and later, the Oyo State Government Scholarship. Throughout his academic and professional journey, the scholarships, fellowships, and prizes he received reveal his exceptional abilities and these opportunities helped to lay the foundation for his future accomplishments.
He was an intern at Adeoyo Specialist Hospital in 1978. Following this, he had his National Youth Service at the Evangelical Churches of West Africa (ECWA) in Kano, Nigeria, from 1979 to 1980. In 1980, he embarked on an educational journey to Northern Ireland, where he completed a one-year clinical attachment at Queen's University of Belfast, focusing on Ophthalmology. Upon his return to Nigeria in 1986, he passed for his Final Fellowship Examination.
Academic and Professional Accomplishments
Throughout his illustrious medical career, Professor Ajaiyeoba reached significant heights. He played a pivotal role as Secretary for the Ophthalmology Society of Nigeria from 1990 to 1995. His leadership continued as he served as the Head of the Department of Ophthalmology in the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan (CoMUI) from 1997 to 1999.
Professor Ayotunde Ajaiyeoba's academic pursuits continued with a Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree from the University of London, United Kingdom. He embarked on this academic adventure in September 1999, and by August 2000, he had added another accolade to his list of achievements. Professor Ajaiyeoba's professional qualifications are a testament to his unwavering pursuit of excellence. His diplomas from the West African College of Surgeons (FWACS), the National Postgraduate Medical College (FMCOphth), and the International College of Surgeons (FICS), among others, underscore his dedication to mastering his craft.
In 1999, he was chosen as the British Council, DFID, and Task Force "Sight and Life" Scholar for a master’s course in Ophthalmology at the University of London, a testament to his global recognition. His participation as a Flying Tulip Travel Fellow at the International Congress of Ophthalmology in Ria, Amsterdam, in 1999 further solidified his international reputation. He obtained a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from the National Postgraduate Medical College in December 2020. This milestone showcased his enduring commitment to advancing his field even further.
Honours and Distinctions
Amongst the extensive list of honours, distinctions, and memberships in learned societies that Professor Ayotunde Idowu Ajaiyeoba has amassed throughout his distinguished career, the following notable achievements and milestones stand out:
- In 1985-1986, he served as an Honorary Senior Registrar at the Department of Ophthalmology, Royal Victoria Hospital, Grosvenor Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
- In April 1987, he achieved the distinction of becoming the first fellow by examination in Ophthalmology of the West African College of Surgeons.
- In 1987, he earned the title of Fellow in Ophthalmology of the Nigerian Postgraduate Medical College.
- In 1995, he was honoured as a Fellow of the International College of Surgeons.
- In 1993, he was selected as the World Health Organization (WHO) Nominee for a course in Conjunctival Impression Cytology (CIC) at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.
- In 1995, he served as a WHO Consultant for Xerophthalmia and Conjunctival Impression Cytology.
- In 1995, he was appointed as a Consultant for the International Vitamin A Consultative Group in Chiang Rai, Thailand.
- From 1993 to 1998, he held the role of Principal Ophthalmologist for the National Micronutrient Survey in Nigeria.
- Between 1995 and 1999, he served as the Faculty Secretary for the Faculty of Ophthalmology at the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria and was a Member of the College's Senate during the same period.
- He took on the role of Acting Head of the Department of Ophthalmology in August 1997 - July 1999 and later from December 2005 - November 2007.
- He also became a Member of the Senate at the University of Ibadan, with terms from August 1997 - July 1999 and December 2005 - November 2007.
- In April 2005, he received the Distinguished Scholar for Outstanding Academic Research Award from the European Journal of Scientific Research.
- In January 2006, he was honoured as the World Health Organization (WHO) Nominee for Paediatric Ophthalmology Training at Iladevi Research Centre, Ahmedabad, India.
- In October 2006, he was appointed as a Professor of Ophthalmology at the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, a position he continues to hold to this day.
- Starting from October 2006, he has been an active Member of the Senate at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan.
- From 2007 to 2009, he served as a Visiting Professor in Ophthalmology at Lagos State University, College of Medicine.
- He took on the role of Dean of the Faculty of Clinical Sciences at the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, from 1 August 2010 to 31 July 2014 where he served meritoriously.
- He has been an External Assessor for Professorial Appointments and Promotions in Ophthalmology at various Nigerian Universities.
- In October/November 2014, he served as the NUC Accreditation Team Leader/Member for the MBBS Programme at Ahmadu Bello University, Kaduna, and Bayero University, Kano.
- In July 2015, he was part of the NUC Accreditation Team to evaluate Madonna University, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, and Kaduna State University.
- From October 2015 to 2016, he served as a Visiting Professor in Ophthalmology at the University of Ilorin, College of Health Sciences, Ilorin.
- Since September 2016, he has been an External Examiner for Membership and Fellowship Examinations at the Faculty of Ophthalmology, Ghana Postgraduate Medical College.
- From May 2017 to 2019, he took on the role of External Examiner for MBBS Final Examinations in Surgery at the Department of Surgery, University of Ilorin.
- He has been the Chairman of the NPMCN/WACS (Ophthalmology) Accreditation Panel, conducting accreditation visits to various healthcare institutions, a role he has held since 2012 and continues to this day.
- In December 2020, he was honoured as a Foundation M.D. Awardee by the National Postgraduate Medical College.
- As of May 2023, he has become a Member of the Technical Committee/National Eye Health Research Group.
More so, he contributed to his field as a Member of the Editorial Board for the Nigerian Journal of Ophthalmology and as a Reviewer for various medical journals. He was also a proud member of the Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria, the Nigerian Surgical Research Society, and the Nigerian Medical Association. The list goes on and on.
Legacy, Hobbies and Family Life
Outside of his teaching responsibilities, Professor Ajaiyeoba has contributed significantly to research in ophthalmology. His pioneering work in childhood eye diseases, vitamin A deficiency, and xerophthalmia in Nigeria has paved the way for better understanding and prevention. He has supervised numerous postgraduate students on the Residency Training Programme, ensuring that the next generation of ophthalmologists are well-prepared to tackle the challenges of eye health in Nigeria. His research, including studies on childhood ocular malignancy (Retinoblastoma) and allergic eye diseases in children, has expanded the knowledge base in ophthalmology.
Beyond academia, Professor Ajaiyeoba's commitment to community health is evident in his work with various organizations and his service as a consultant for international initiatives. His contributions have touched the lives of countless individuals, particularly children, across Nigeria and beyond.
In recognition of his exemplary service and contributions to the field, Professor Ayotunde Idowu Ajaiyeoba was honoured as a Distinguished Scholar for Outstanding Academic Research by the European Journal of Scientific Research in April 2005. His life's work stands as a testament to the power of knowledge, perseverance, and a deep passion for medicine.
Professor Ajaiyeoba’s preference for extracurricular activities like tennis, music, football, and many others remains active till today. He is married to Professor Edith Oriabure Ajaiyeoba (nee Oseikhuemen), a distinguished Professor of Pharmacognosy, at the University of Ibadan, and their marriage is blessed with four wonderful children and one beloved granddaughter.
Short Profiles of Children
Two of Professor Ajaiyeoba's children are worthy graduates of the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan revealing years of outstanding nurturing and investments by him and his beloved wife. We are delighted to showcase his wonderful children, our pride and alumni.
Dr. Dami Weinrich, graduated MB;BS from the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan in 2011. She holds an MBA with a specialization in Healthcare Administration, a Master of Healthcare Leadership (MHCL), and is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ). She currently serves as the System Director of Quality Management and Patient Safety Officer at Olathe Health System, a prestigious institution affiliated with the University of Kansas Health System, consistently ranked among the top 50 hospitals in the USA. Olathe Health System encompasses two hospitals and over 50 ambulatory spaces, providing comprehensive healthcare services.
Ayotunde Ajaiyeoba Jr. completed his MB;BS degree at the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, in 2011. He furthered his education by obtaining an MBA in Healthcare Administration from Wichita State University in the USA. Ayo recently accomplished a Graduate Certificate in Organizational Leadership and Coaching from Northwestern University, Chicago. Presently, he holds the position of Medical Director and Department Vice President at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City. In 2020, Ayo was honoured as a "40 Under Forty" recipient by Kansas City Ingram's Magazine and received the Black Achievers Award of Greater Kansas City. Ayo actively serves on the board of the Mid-America Coalition on Health Care and co-chairs "Healthy KC" at the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Opeyemi Ajaiyeoba boasts of a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Aeronautic and Astronomic Engineering, complemented by a Master of Science degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering. With over eight years of experience, Opeyemi has consistently demonstrated unwavering dedication and expertise in the field of Maintenance and Reliability. His commitment has led to the acquisition of various certifications, like the Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP) designation. Presently, Mr. Ajaiyeoba serves as a Senior Reliability Engineer at Veolia Environmental Solutions, where he continues to excel in delivering high-level solutions and insights within the realm of reliability engineering.
Atinuke Ajaiyeoba completed her Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting in 2015 and subsequently earned her Masters of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Finance in 2018, both from Wichita State University in Kansas, USA. Tinu holds a license as a Certified Public Accountant and currently holds the position of Senior Corporate Advisor at Cummins USA. Her expertise lies in corporate financial reporting and supply chain management controls, which makes her an invaluable asset.
Conclusion and Well-Wishes
Professor Ajaiyeoba's valedictory event marks the end of an era in the Department of Ophthalmology, but his legacy and contributions to the field will continue to inspire and guide future generations of ophthalmologists in Nigeria and beyond as he transits into a new season.
We celebrate his outstanding contributions to the growth and development of our institutions especially in his leadership roles as Head of Ophthalmology and Dean of the largest Faculty in CoMUI, the Faculty of Clinical Sciences. We pray for health, strength, peace, and unending joy in this new season of life.