Professor Fred Hollows was an Australian Ophthalmologist who believed in a world where no-one was needlessly blind.
Seventy five per cent of all blindness in the world is avoidable. Ninety per cent of these people live in developing countries where access to eye health services is often lacking and where even a relatively inexpensive cataract operation (that can cost as little as $25 according to The Fred Hollows Foundation) is out of financial reach.
Fred Hollows did many great things, but among the most important was the development of low cost Intraocular lens laboratories in Nepal and Eritrea. An IOL (the lens inserted during cataract surgery) used to cost hundreds of dollars to manufacture, pushing cataract surgery beyond the reach of most in the developing world. The laboratories that Fred began now manufacture lenses for around $5-8US each, significantly lowering the cost of surgery. over 3 million lenses have been manufactured and exported to around 40 countries.
Fred Hollows was given the Australian of the Year award in 1990. In 1993 he died of cancer not before traveling to countries such as Vietnam and Nepal to train doctors. He was a very special human being.