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The Fred Hollows Foundation celebrates 20 years in China The Fred Hollows Foundation celebrates 20 years in China

The Fred Hollows Foundation celebrates 20 years in China

The Fred Hollows Foundation is celebrating its 20th year of working in China to end avoidable blindness.
At a celebration at the Australian Embassy in Beijing, The Fred Hollows Foundation CEO Ian Wishart acknowledged its strong partnership with the Chinese Government.

Ian Wishart, CEO of The Fred Hollows Foundation

“Over the past 20 years, The Foundation has screened almost 3 million people, performed more than 1.1 million eye operations and treatments and trained some 30,000 people in eye health.
“More than 93,000 people with cataract have had their sight restored – an achievement that would have made our founder, the late Professor Fred Hollows proud.”
The Foundation has worked in Jiangxi, Anhui, Hebei, Yunnan, Inner Mongolia, and Xinjiang provinces to restore sight to thousands of people. In 2015, The Foundation expanded its operations to Hong Kong.
“However, more work needs to be done. China has the highest burden of avoidable blindness in the world, accounting for 20 percent of the global total, and cataract is the leading cause of blindness in China, making up almost half of the cases.”
Up to 80 percent of people who are blind in China live in rural areas but 80 percent of eye doctors work in the cities. Improving eye health for mainly elderly people in rural areas of China would be a strong focus for The Foundation in China.
Mr Wishart said The Foundation welcomed the Chinese Government’s Health Silk Road which formed part of the Belt and Road initiative.
“The Fred Hollows Foundation is well-placed to work with China's different stakeholders by sharing knowledge about health systems in countries along the Belt and Road initiative and helping develop, manage and deliver comprehensive eye health projects,” he said.

Read Ian Wishart's interview with SCMP here.