The Foundation has received an important award from the Government of Vietnam for its work in helping eliminate avoidable blindness in the country.

The award, named the Golden Cup for Community Development in Vietnam, recognises individuals and organisations and honours their contribution to poverty reduction and community development.

It is the fifth time this award has been granted in Vietnam since 2004 and The Foundation is one of 11 international non government organisations (NGOs) to receive it in 2010.

The award was presented to The Foundation's Vietnam Country Manager Dr Huynh Tan Phuc at a ceremony in the Hanoi Opera House and broadcast live on national television.

The Foundation's CEO, Brian Doolan, says the award demonstrates the remarkable job The Foundation's staff in Vietnam are doing.

"When Fred went to Vietnam in the early 1990s and introduced modern ophthalmic surgical techniques he would never have imagined the impact The Foundation is having in that country almost 20 years later," says Doolan.

As one of the leading international NGOs working in Vietnam, The Fred Hollows Foundation has provided support to local eye care services, delivering the best possible ophthalmic care - with a focus on children and people marginalised by poverty or distance, unable to access eye care services.

The support we provide in Vietnam includes capacity building of local ophthalmic staff (including surgeons), schoolteachers, community health workers and village health volunteers; provision of infrastructure and medical equipment; disease control; advocacy and awareness raising; and research.

In 2010, The Foundation expanded its support to 16 cities and provinces throughout Vietnam. In close partnership with local eye care service providers, The Foundation in Vietnam is working to save the sight of thousands of people.

Achievements: 2009

The Foundation's major achievements in Vietnam last year include:
  • Conducting 27,331 sight restoring operations and treatments
  • Providing $664,772 worth of ophthalmic equipment
  • Consulting 6,839 children with refractive error and granting free spectacles to 3,776 children from poor families
  • Strengthening the eye care network at the community level, and enhancing public awareness of primary eye care through posters, leaflets and other media.