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15th anniversary of Fred Hollows’ death

Sunday 10th February, marks the 15th anniversary of Fred Hollows’ death.

Professor Fred Hollows examining the eye of seven year old Tran Van Giap at the Vietnam National Institute of Ophthalmology (VNIO) in Hanoi (Vietnam) in 1992. Courtesy


Around the world, The Foundation will be celebrating and commemorating the world renowned Kiwi eye-surgeon’s life and achievements.

Starting as just one kiwi’s dream, The Foundation set up in his name has become an international organisation whose work changes lives, systems and thinking.

As with other Kiwi heroes, such as The Foundation’s former patron, Sir Edmund Hillary, the seed of all these changes was Fred’s Kiwi ‘can do spirit’. He believed in the right to health for all and was outraged by social injustice and the unfairness of poverty. Thanks to Fred’s pioneering work, over 1 million people have had their sight restored and many hundreds of eye surgeons and health care personnel have been trained throughout the developing world.

There will be a public memorial service held at Fred's gravesite in Bourke on Sunday morning. Along side friends, family and government officials, some of Fred's former patients will also attend, including Tran Van Giap, from Vietnam. Giap was just seven years old when his sight was restored by Fred, and he became the first of his family to go to university.

Giap will be fulfilling a lifetime dream to lay incense at Fred's grave and say thank-you to the man who helped save his sight 16 years ago.

Find out more about The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ at

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