The Fred Hollows Foundation has announced it trained a record number of eye health staff in 2014, to carry on the legacy of the late Fred Hollows in some of the poorest communities of the world.

The figures were released today to mark the birthday of Fred Hollows, who was born on 9 April 1929.

He became a world-renowned eye surgeon, fighting to end avoidable blindness in Australia’s Indigenous communities, and in some of the poorest communities in developing countries.

Last year, The Foundation that was established to continue Fred’s work trained a record 56,544 eye health staff globally in 2014, including:
  • 217 eye surgeons
  • more than 1,120 clinic support staff; and
  • more than 42,595 community health workers and teachers trained in primary eye care.
Foundation CEO Brian Doolan said it was a jump of more than 34% in the numbers of staff trained by The Foundation in the previous year.

“Every new surgeon and each of those support staff, community workers and teachers are the new eyes and hands helping to keep Fred’s dream alive,” Mr Doolan said.

“They’re on the ground right now in places like Nepal, Ethiopia, Cambodia and Burundi, working to restore sight and transform people’s lives.

“Every time someone’s sight is restored, or saved through screening and eye disease prevention, we transform that person’s life.

“This is Fred’s vision at work, bringing quality eye screening and surgery to some of the poorest, most isolated and marginalised communities in the world.”

The Fred Hollows Foundation has already restored sight to more than two million people worldwide.

Today, 22 years after Fred Hollows passed away, The Foundation is one of the world’s leading eye health organisations working on preventable blindness, in more than 20 developing countries.