Fred Hollows believed that everyone, no matter whether they were rich or poor, had the right to affordable eye care.
The Fred Hollows Foundation's work is to put an end to avoidable blindness, where people in developing countries will get the same quality eye care the rest of the world takes for granted.
The Fred Hollows Foundation works to prevent and cure blindness and visual impairment among the extreme poor by training surgeons and other healthcare workers, funding treatments and surgeries, building and upgrading medical facilities, providing equipment, funding research and supporting advocacy. They have established factories to produce low-cost intraocular lenses for cataract surgery. Their work have restored vision to well over a million people and protected the eyesight of many millions more.
Where they work:
Burundi | Ethiopia | Rwanda | Eritrea | Kenya
Cambodia | Indonesia | Lao PDR | Timor Leste | Philippines | China | DPR Korea | Myanmar | Vietnam | Afghanistan | Nepal | Palestine | Bangladesh | Pakistan East
What do they do?
The Fred Hollows Foundation is focused on putting an end to avoidable blindness.
They target preventable and treatable eye diseases such as cataract, trachoma and diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to permanent blindness if untreated.
The Foundation does so through medication, surgery, education, prevention, training, research and advocacy. (1)
Surgery and medication
In many cases, a straightforward 20 minute operation can restore sight or a dose of antibiotics can prevent blindness.
The Fred Hollows Foundation goes into some of the poorest areas of the world to provide eye care, including performing cataract surgeries for as little as $50. They helped establish labs in Nepal and Eritrea to manufacture a very low-cost intraocular lens used in cataract surgery for $5 (instead of the prior market cost of about $150) -- well over 4 million have now been produced.
The Foundation invests in training doctors, nurses and health care workers so they can recognise, diagnose, refer and treat eye problems in their communities. They believe that training and empowering local people is the key to create a sustainable system of care in the communities that need it most.
Research and technology
With growing knowledge and understanding of eye diseases through research and technology, the Foundation can create solutions that are more effective at restoring sight to even more people – and end avoidable blindness, faster.
The information gained through research is used to inform their work with local governments and partners to develop systems that enable them to end avoidable blindness.
They also fund their partners to develop technology that is innovative, affordable and helps reach their goal of ending avoidable blindness sooner.
The Foundation's advocacy work is about working with governments, partners and local communities in achieving long term change. Their methods are:
- Strengthening national health systems with a focus on eye health.
- Encouraging in-country government support for better resources.
- Empowering local workers to implement effective, safe and quality eye interventions.
- Creating financial systems that ensure services are affordable and available to everyone – from cities to remote villages.
Why are they recommended?
The Fred Hollows Foundation is recommended by The Life You Can Save.
The Foundation’s work helps millions of the poorest of the poor keep or regain their sight, thus giving them back control of their lives.
The World Bank has identified cataract surgery as among the most cost-effective of all public health interventions. The Fred Hollows Foundation estimates that their typical cataract procedure costs as little as $50 per treatment.
In 2015 alone, the Fred Hollows Foundation performed 890,066 eye operations and treatments, screened 3.4 million plus people, treated 8.2 million plus people with antibiotics for trachoma, trained 64,613 people, including 232 surgeons and 35,185 community health workers, built 110 medical facilities and supplied $2.4 million of medical equipment.
The Foundation partners with local organizations in order to benefit from their knowledge and deliver effective service. It helps establish and improve long-term infrastructure, for example by training local health workers and helping to build and upgrade facilities, often in remote areas.