The Fred Hollows Foundation
What they do
The Fred Hollows Foundation (“FHF”) is an Australia based non-government organization whose mission is to prevent and treat avoidable blindness in developing countries. FHF also works to improve the health outcomes of indigenous Australians.
Cataract blindness affects around 20 million people globally, who mostly live in developing countries. Yet, cataract blindness can be treated with a relatively simple operation using an intraocular lens (IOL). Unfortunately, the operation is not carried out in many poorer countries because it is too expensive.
An Australian doctor, Fred Hollows, decided to make intraocular lenses more affordable so that cataract operations could be performed more cost-effectively. To do this, FHF built laboratories in Eritrea and Nepal to produce IOL’s and provide them to developing nations at a cost that is a fraction of commercially produced IOL’s. Since 1992, FHF has also established programs in 29 countries to equip and train local doctors to perform modern cataract surgery. Through these skills training programs and the provision of equipment and IOL’s, FHF has helped restore the sight of more than 1,000,000 people worldwide.
What we funded
The Silverton Foundation funded a specific, five-year program focused on treating cataract blindness in Vietnam. As part of this commitment, we agreed to underwrite the cost of 10,000 IOL’s per year for a total of 50,000 IOL’s. These IOL’s in turn are being provided to the poorest patients in Vietnam who cannot afford to purchase them. In addition, we have funded the eye station equipment necessary to set up high-volume surgery operations in two new provinces which will expand the capacity to perform cataract surgery in Vietnam.
Silverton Foundation ambassadors Alex Taylor and Kate Saunders visited the Fred Hollows Foundation office in Vietnam to examine their program and observe the impact of their work. Click here to read a full report of this visit, including photos.
Also visit http://www.hollows.org/Vietnam/for more information about the work of the Fred Hollows Foundation in Vietnam.