To my mind, having a care and concern for others is the highest of the human qualities

Fred Hollows, died on this day, 10th February 1993

10th February marks the anniversary of the loss of a remarkable Australian citizen and native New Zealander, who is still changing lives today. 

It has been estimated that more than one million people in the world can see today because of initiatives instigated by Fred Hollows

Fred Hollows was born in New Zealand in 1929, became Australian of the Year in 1990, only one year after he became an Australian citizen, and is well known for his work in providing eye care for those who most desperately needed it.

Although he had already proven himself an excellent ophthalmologist overseas, his illustrious Australian career sparked off drastically during a visit to the Watti Creek Aboriginal settlement in the Northern Territory, when he became outraged that every child of that settlement was afflicted with trachoma, a preventable chronic, inflammatory eye disease caused by a virus. Left untreated, the disease caused scarring of the cornea, leading to blindness.

He was responsible for organising the Royal Australian College of Ophthalmologists to establish the National Trachoma and Eye Health Program (the “Trachoma Program”) 1976–1978, with funding by the Federal Government. Hollows himself spent three years visiting Aboriginal communities to provide eye care.

Hollows fought to build clinics not only for Aboriginal communities but overseas as well, especially for African communities facing poverty. The famous Fred Hollows Foundation was created a year before his death, and their work continues today through a highly recognised charity. 

Learn more about Fred Hollows and his work through the State Library of NSW  EResources, accessible from home for all NSW residents, with a valid library card.  eg Biography in Context.

The State Library of New South Wales also holds many books about Fred Hollows and issues of periodicals from the Fred Hollows Foundation. 

 Fred’s vision magazine / the Fred Hollows Foundation

Annual report / the Fred Hollows Foundation

Sharing the vision : the newsletter of the Fred Hollows Foundation

Eyesight for Yadria | Kylie Guest's Fundraiser
Yadria needs help to fund a surgery to remove the cataracts in her eyes. Without it she will remain blind.

Hi everyone. Up above is Yadria. She lives in Ensanada, MX with her family and she needs your help. Yadria has cataracts in both of her eyes, which leave her without sight. We are trying to raise $5500 for the cost of her surgery. If you could donate, even a few dollars, it would help her have a bright future. If not please reblog and spread the word.

Anything could help. We want to give Yadira the  brightest future possible!

Diphtheric Conjunctivitis

While many people who know of the infectious disease diphtheria - which we’re protected against by the TDaP vaccine, and which was the impetus for the “Great Race of Mercy”, which is commemorated by the Iditarod - know that it can cause systemic infections and death by suffocation, one of the most common complications is often confused for other conditions.

Diphtheria can cause an acute conjunctivitis if the bacteria infect the conjunctiva of the eye. If it is not brought under control promptly, the toxins exuded by the bacteria can cause necrosis in both the eyelid and the cornea, which can lead to serious vision problems or blindness in patients.

Historically, blindness was a major problem for survivors of diphtheria, scarlet fever, ocular gonorrhea, and smallpox.

Atlas of the External Diseases of the Eye. Dr. O. Haab, 1899.

Abdullah ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنه‎) narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “The best of your Kohl is Ithmid, for it improves the eyesight and makes the eyelashes grow.” [Sahih ibn Majah #3497]

Imam Shafi'ee’ (رحمه الله) said:

Four matters weaken the sight:

1. Looking at filth (dirt, excrement etc.)
2. Looking at crucified persons.
3. Men, looking at their spouse’s private part.
4. Sitting while your back is towards the Qiblah (direction of the prayer). He also said:

Four matters strengthen the sight:

1. Sitting next to the Ka’bah.
2. Using Ithmid before going to sleep.
3. Looking at green things (trees, grass etc.)
4. Cleaning up the sitting area (at home, i.e. because it is where guests are welcomed).

Page 353 from the book ‘Healing with the Medicine of the Prophet (ﷺ).’