Professor Fred Hollows
Fred Hollows was an eye doctor who spent his life helping those who couldn’t afford, or access, basic eye care.
He worked really hard to end avoidable blindness and improve the health of Indigenous Australians. In the late 1960s and 1970s Fred was shocked to discover that Aboriginal Australians were suffering from some of the worst eye diseases he had ever seen. So he decided to do something about it. He travelled with a team of 80 doctors to 465 remote communities, helping more than 60,000 Indigenous people and giving away over 10,000 pair of glasses.
This was just the beginning of Fred’s long campaign to improve health services for Aboriginal people. In the 1980s and 90s, Fred discovered that millions of people in poor communities around the world were also going blind because of eye disease. Most of them were suffering from cataract blindness, an eye disease that causes the lens of the eye to become cloudy and fuzzy.
Luckily, cataract blindness is easy to fix. Eye doctors just take out the old cloudy lens and replace it with a new plastic one, allowing people to see again. Fred decided to raise enough money to build lens factories in Eritrea and Nepal to reduce the cost of these operations from hundreds of dollars to just $25, so that millions of people around the world could have their sight restored.
Fred was named Australian of the Year in 1990 for his efforts to help others. Professor Fred Hollows What is an eye doctor?
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