Sightsavers’ work in Côte d’Ivoire focuses on treating neglected tropical diseases such as river blindness. In 2016 we distributed 3.4 million NTD treatments and trained almost 8,000 volunteers to give out medication.
The West African country of Côte d’Ivoire has a population of more than 22.7 million people. Neglected tropical diseases are still a major health problem in the country: it’s believed more than 2.2 million people are at risk of river blindness, and more than 17.4 million (76 per cent) are in danger of contracting lymphatic filariasis, a debilitating infection transmitted via mosquito bite.
To combat this, Sightsavers distributes medication to treat the diseases and stop the spread of infection. In 2016, we distributed more than 3.4 million treatments for neglected tropical diseases in Côte d’Ivoire and trained almost 8,000 volunteer community drug distributors, enabling them to gather data and give out medication to protect against NTDs.
Dicko has worked for Sightsavers for more than nine years. He says: “The best part of my jobs is giving visually impaired children access to education and ensuring future generations never experience blindness from trachoma and river blindness.”
The Tropical Data project is a data-collection initiative that uses smartphone technology to gather data as part of the global fight to eliminate trachoma in countries such as Côte d’Ivoire. With the evidence generated from the data, ministries of health are able to pinpoint exactly where to run trachoma treatment programmes and offer life-changing support.