Restoring and preserving sight

Millions of people around the world are blind simply because they can't access eye care. Many of our Pacific neighbours are suffering this exact fate.

Restoring and preserving sight

Fred’s mission

Fred Hollows was an internationally renowned eye surgeon and humanitarian who worked tirelessly to end avoidable blindness. While it didn’t happen in his life time, we’re working hard to make sure it happens in ours.

We're known for providing cost-effective treatments for sight loss caused by cataract and diabetes eye disease. We also work with Ministries of Health to provide eye care to thousands of patients suffering from other eye conditions. We're in it for the long haul, and won't stop until avoidable blindness is a thing of the past.

What is avoidable blindness?

Globally, it's estimated that 9 out of 10 people who are blind don't need to be. Eye conditions like cataract and diabetes eye disease can cause sight loss and blindness even though they're treatable or preventable. An estimated 90 per cent of the world’s visually impaired people live in low-income countries. Disadvantaged and vulnerable communities are the worst affected because there's a strong link between eye health, poverty and education.

Our work in the Pacific

We work to eliminate avoidable blindness in the Pacific by making eye care accessible for all. In many cases a short 20 minute operation can restore sight. We work in partnership with local Ministries of Health to screen for signs of disease and provide the right treatment.

"I believe the basic attribute of mankind is to look after each other, and that’s what makes humans look after other humans when they are in need."
- Professor Fred Hollows
A patient's vision is tested in Fiji
A patient's vision is tested in Fiji

What we achieved in 2022

  • 8,217 patients screened for diabetes eye disease
  • 2,211 patients received treatment for diabetes eye disease
  • 10,445 spectacles dispensed

The value of restoring sight

The impact of restoring sight goes far beyond treating blindness. It's also an effective way to tackle poverty. Children can go to school, adults can go to work or start a business, and the financial and social burden on families and communities is reduced.

We’re putting ourselves out of a job

Fred didn't believe in flying eye doctors into a country or simply handing out cash. He believed communities and governments should work together to tackle avoidable blindness. Like Fred, we work with local people to train eye health workers, build and upgrade facilities, develop and introduce new technology, and provide vital equipment.


Can I visit one of The Foundation’s overseas programmes?

How can The Foundation restore sight for $25?

I have cataract/eye problems. Can The Foundation help?

Why don’t you provide eye care services in New Zealand?

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