Esther Franks the first female eye doctor in South Africa.

This article from Die Burger 16 May 2015:
(Shortened and translated from Afrikaans)

Esther Franks was the first female eye doctor in South Africa and
a pioneer in the fight against blindness.

Esther Franks was a doctor and the first woman to practice
ophthalmic surgery in South Africa. In 1925 she was the second
woman who studied in medicine at the University of Witwatersrand.

After university, she and a few friends started a small workshop
for homeless blind people in Pretoria in 1928. In 1929 SANCB (South
African National Council for the Blind) was established as a
coordinating body for entities rendering services to blind people.

Franks got involved in SANCBs work in the 1930s. She focussed on
rendering medical care to rural black people and realised that many
cases of blindness can be prevented with proper medical care. The
Bureau for the Prevention of Blindness was formed to supply these
services. In 1952 the first mobile clinic began work and Franks
accompanied the clinic. She was very dedicated.

Awards:

She received the RW Bowen medal from SANCB for her pioneering work
in the fight against blindness.

In the same year she was named The Star Women of the Year for her
work with blind people in the rural areas. In 1972 she was named
Women of the Year for her work with black people in rural areas.

Franks died on 22 June 1972 in Pretoria, from a heart attack.

Sources:

www,sahistory.org.za
www.sancb.org.za

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