The 60-year-old has recently been awarded the "Honorary citizen of Thua Thien Hue province" title in recognition of his outstanding achievements and contribution to the Central locality’s development for peace and social progress.

In 2022, Hattori, who is CEO at Asia - Pacific Prevention of Blindness Association (APBA), was presented with the Ramon Magsaysay Award – an honour widely regarded as the "Nobel Peace Prize of Asia."

Japanese Professor, Doctor Hattori Tadashi has decided to pursue his own journey to bring light to tens of thousands of underprivileged people in Vietnam.

The doctor originally only planned to spend a single three months in Vietnam when he visited the Southeast Asian nation in April 2002. However, that “three months” wound up impacting the next 20 years of his life.

“I was shocked to see many patients who are blind in one eye go to the hospital only when the retina in the other eye became detached, or when they had other issues that might have caused their loss of vision," Hattori said.

“Many patients refused because they couldn’t afford it.

“It broke my heart that I couldn’t help everyone because there was a shortage of surgical supplies and equipment.”

After returning to Japan, he called for sponsorship from medical companies but was turned down because he no longer worked for a hospital.

He then submitted a proposal for assistance to the Japanese government but was told they only supported non-governmental organizations.

In the end, he decided to use all the savings that he and his wife had set aside for their retirement to buy equipment to perform free surgeries in Vietnam.

Over the years, Hattori continued returning to rural Vietnam to examine patients, perform surgeries, and treat cataract issues.

During his trip to the mountainous district of A Luoi in the Central province of Thua Thien Hue on March 26, the doctor directly provided check-ups for hundreds of locals, and performed cataract surgeries for 42 patients.

In Thua Thien Hue, he not only directly performs surgeries but also transfers techniques, imparts knowledge and skills, and mobilizes resources to improve service quality at the Hue Eye Hospital.

He is an example for local medical workers to follow in improving qualifications and better serving the people.

Tadashi has received other honors for his humane activities in Vietnam. He was awarded the Friendship Medal by the President and the insignia “For health of people” by the Ministry of Health.

Source: VNA