In January 2020, the Fund approved a 12-month grant of $50,000 to the Fred Hollows Foundation to support the provision of free or subsidized, high-quality cataract surgeries for 500 patients in the Greater Hanoi, Vietnam area by Alina Vision, a social enterprise eye hospital dedicated to reducing preventable blindness and visual impairment in Vietnam. A primary purpose of this grant was to help Alina Vision move toward breakeven through increasing revenues from sliding-scale fees.
A Sydney, Australia-based nonprofit, Fred Hollows works to prevent and reverse avoidable blindness in some 25 developing world countries and is dedicated to building sustainable indigenous capacity to deliver high-quality, affordable eye care.
Despite the impact of COVID-19, Alina Vision successfully conducted a total of 800 surgeries over the project period, 636 of which were free or subsidized. Of these, 84% of operated patients achieved a post-operative visual acuity of 6/18 or better. Thanks to the team’s creative efforts, the project’s success extended beyond the original catchment area to Quang Ngai province where the Alina Vision team trained local surgeons and conducted 100 cataract surgeries.
In 2021, the Lavelle Fund renewed its support to Fred Hollows Foundation for two years to continue the momentum of leading Alina Vision Vietnam on its journey to financial sustainability.