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The Fred Hollows Foundation to celebrate 25 years restoring sight

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International development organization The Fred Hollows Foundation, will celebrate its 25th anniversary this Sunday, 3 September.

What started as a small Australian charity to continue the legacy of the late Professor Fred Hollows, has gone on to become an international organisation that works in more than 25 countries and has restored sight to over two million people.

The Fred Hollows Foundation has been working in CAMBODIA since 1998, facilitating sight-restoring surgery and training local doctors, nurses and community health workers.

CEO of The Fred Hollows Foundation, Brian Doolan, said there was much to be proud of as The Foundation celebrates 25 years of restoring sight.

“The Fred Hollows Foundation has grown from a small Australian charity to a truly international development organization that has restored sight to more than two million people in some of the poorest countries in the world,” said Mr Doolan.

“It is a sad fact that 32.4 million people in the world are blind and four out of five them don’t need to be, so there is still much work to be done.

“We are very grateful to all of our supporters, partners and also to the Australian Government, international aid organisations and the community for their ongoing assistance. We know Fred would be thrilled they are helping us to end avoidable blindness.”

Founding Director of The Fred Hollows Foundation, Gabi Hollows, said: “It’s bittersweet that Fred is not around as he would be absolutely amazed by achievements over the past 25 years and how his legacy has changed the lives of millions.

“We have proved you can do the highest standard of eye surgery in some of the poorest countries in the world and that’s a remarkable achievement.”

The Fred Hollows Foundation’s CAMBODIA Country Manager, Mr. Sith Sam Ath, said: “In CAMBODIA we are committed to working with the government and our many partners to tackle avoidable blindness and strengthen the health system to ensure everyone has access to eye health services.

“Since The Foundation started work in CAMBODIA in 1998, we have seen good progress, but there is still much work to be done to end avoidable blindness.”

Key facts about The Fred Hollows Foundation and avoidable blindness:

  • The Fred Hollows Foundation was established on 3 September, 1992 in Sydney, Australia.
  • The Foundation continues to work towards the vision of renowned eye surgeon Professor Fred Hollows of a world in which no person is needlessly blind.
  • In 2016 The Foundation performed 1,004,975 eye operations and treatments, a record result for a single year in its 25-year history.
  • Cataract remains the leading cause of blindness worldwide and affects 51 per cent of people who are needlessly blind.
  • Ninety per cent of the world’s blind live in developing countries.
  • Women make up two-thirds of people living with avoidable blindness as they face greater barriers to healthcare than men.
  • Research published in Lancet Global Health in August 2017 predicts that without better funding and access to eye care services, the number of people who are blind will rise from 36 million to 115 million over the next 30 years.
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