Another of my Top 10

Again, in no order (see post below)

Eye surgeon

Fred Hollows was a plain speaker who saved the eyesight of countless poor people in Australia and in developing countries. Restoring people’s eyesight is about more than simply seeing – it’s also about letting them fend for themselves. Like many famous Australians, Hollows was born in New Zealand and wasn’t naturalised until 1989. In 1965, he became associate professor of ophthalmology at the University of NSW, and in the early ’70s began visiting indigenous communities. He was particularly disturbed by the number of Aborigines with eye problems, and in 1971 helped establish the Aboriginal Medical Service. During the following three years, the service treated 30,000 people, prescribed 10,000 pairs of glasses and performed 1000 operations for trachoma, an eye disease caused by the chlamydia bacteria that often leads to blindness. In the ’80s, Hollows helped train locals in Vietnam, Eritrea and Nepal to perform simple eye operations, and also worked to establish factories in those countries to produce implantable lenses. The lenses are used to combat cataracts, a clouding of the natural lens that leads to lost vision. In 1992 Hollows set up a foundation to continue the work he’d devoted his life to.


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