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Health

Sightsavers promotes inclusive health because we believe that everyone, wherever they live, should be able to receive quality, affordable health care.

A surgeon in Mali stands next to his female patient following her eye surgery. Both are smiling.

Good health and wellbeing is a fundamental human right, allowing children to go to school and adults to earn a living. But more than 400 million people worldwide lack access to even basic health care services.

We want to make sure that effective, affordable, accessible health services are available for everyone, particularly women, people with disabilities, and other marginalised groups such as people with HIV or AIDS. We aim to empower people so they can make informed decisions and prioritise their health. Much of our work focuses specifically on eye health.

We work with partners, governments, the UN and many other organisations, and our work directly contributes to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to end poverty, protect the planet and ‘leave no one behind’ by 2030.

Four men link arms as they leave hospital following cataract surgery in Mozambique.
© Sightsavers/Mike Goldwater

What we’re doing

We’ve devised a clear inclusion strategy
Making sure development is inclusive for all is an increasing priority worldwide. In 2015 we launched our first social inclusion strategy, which was developed in collaboration with disability groups in several countries and aims to increase inclusion in our health programmes.

We’re making sure everyone can be treated to prevent disease
We’re working to eliminate neglected topical diseases, which currently affect a billion people around the world.  But if we aren’t able to treat people who are most marginalised, such as women or people with disabilities, the goal of eliminating these diseases will never be achieved. So we’ve collaborated with other organisations to make sure reaching everyone is a priority.

We’re carrying out research to learn how we can improve
In Uganda, our team carried out a survey to find out how inclusive our neglected tropical disease projects are. By holding group discussions and learning from our findings, we can make sure our projects don’t directly or indirectly exclude people.

We’re ensuring our eye health projects reach everyone
As part of our inclusive eye health programme in Bhopal in India, we tested different ways to help people with disabilities receive treatment, and also learned how we could change the infrastructure in hospitals to help people with limited mobility. We have used what we learned to refine our approach and replicate it across other countries, starting in Mozambique, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

A young girl plays with her siblings on her bed.

Making eye health services inclusive

Learn about our inclusive eye health programmes that make sure everyone, regardless of gender or disabilities, can access the support they need.

Inclusive eye health

Learn more about our strategy to include everyone

Read our Annual inclusion report

More about health

Art student putting finishing touches to the Inclusive Eye Health mural in Bhopal.
Sightsavers blog

Young artists get creative to promote disability inclusion

Art students in Bhopal painted striking murals along the wall of a hospital to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

A group of five elderly people on Bhopal. All are sitting on the floor smiling, while wearing spectacles.
Sightsavers blog

Counting the difference: what did we learn in Bhopal?

Emma Jolley travelled to Bhopal to revisit the disability disaggregation pilot happening there and take stock of what we have learned in the past year.

A woman has her eyes examined at the screening camp in Bhopal, set up for survivors of the gas disaster.
Sightsavers from the field

Eye screening for survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy

Sightsavers organised screening camps for those affected by the Bhopal disaster in 1984, when a gas leak killed 3,800 people.

We campaign for equality

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