The majority of vision impairment and blindness in the world is avoidable. This is a global public health crisis, particularly that most cases can be treated with a pair of spectacles or cataract surgery. 9 in 10 of those who are blind and visually impaired live in the developing world. Alarmingly, Africa accounts for more than 15% of these cases according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). People should not be suffering from treatable blindness because of limited access to quality eye care, poverty or their geographical location.


Dr Mo Dirani, founder and Managing Director of plano, has committed to complete the 2019 Sanlam Cape Town Marathon in Cape Town, South Africa – 42.2kms, accomplished in 50,000 strides, aimed at bringing eye care to 50,000 people in Africa. “I want to give back. I want to help tackle avoidable blindness particularly in developing parts of the world where millions of people are unnecessarily suffering from debilitating vision loss. I know there are preventable solutions to vision loss. This marathon is about helping adults and children get access to those solutions.” - Dr Mo Dirani.

DR. MO &


In 1980, almost 40 years ago, Australian ophthalmologist Fred Hollows crossed paths with Abdul Dirani. Abdul had suffered a serious workplace injury that threatened his eyesight and ultimately his ability to provide for his growing family. With a pregnant wife at home, Abdul prayed for a solution. That solution came in the form of Fred Hollows.

Fred was not your typical ophthalmologist - he took risks, he rocked the boat and on this particular occasion, he once again proved sceptics wrong by successfully saving Abdul’s eyesight.



For Fred, Abdul was another patient who needed his help. For Abdul, successful eye surgery was a lifeline that provided him with the healthy vision he needed to support his wife, his ten children at home, plus the additional two who would eventually follow.

What is significant about this story is that Mo, Abdul's son, is now an eye scientist and entrepreneur who carries the same passion to help others, particularly those in most need.