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Democratic Republic of Congo

Neglected tropical diseases such as river blindness affect millions of people in DRC. In 2016 we helped to distribute more than 3.2 million treatments to prevent the spread of these debilitating diseases.

Our work in Democratic Republic of Congo

Sightsavers is working to eliminate neglected tropical diseases in DRC. River blindness is endemic, with an estimated 40 million people requiring preventative treatment, while an estimated 37 million people require preventative treatment for lymphatic filariasis.

We are helping the poorest communities in the country to reoccupy fertile agricultural land close to a river and earn an income. The project will reduce the number of children who stay at home because of severe skin conditions or to care for relatives who have become blind or disfigured, enabling them to attend school.

We are also training health workers and supporting mass drug administration across communities to stop the spread of river blindness and LF. The project will start to treat people in the province of Ituri Nord, which borders Uganda, and is crucial to ensure that efforts to eliminate river blindness in the neighbouring country are also successful.

A boy and his father amid a fast-flowing river, where the black flies that carry the river blindness parasite like to breed.

How we’re making a difference

Our reducing river blindness and lymphatic filariasis programme in Democratic Republic of Congo aims to eliminate the two neglected tropical diseases by giving medication to those at risk.

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More about our work

A trainer in Uganda shows a student how to use a measuring stick to calculate drug dosages.
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News / NTDs /

WHO shows progress made on eliminating neglected tropical diseases

The number of people at risk from neglected tropical diseases has fallen by 20 per cent in the past five years, according to WHO.

A woman having her eyes tested
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Global blindness set to triple by 2050

Sightsavers will continue to tackle avoidable blindness as research reveals the number of blind people across the world is set to triple in 40 years.

Hauwa'u Makada sits on the floor waiting for trichasis surgery with her brothers. Her wheelchair is nearby.
Sightsavers blog

NTDs and inclusion: the importance of community participation

Sightsavers is committed to ensuring all our health programmes, including those to treat neglected tropical diseases, reach the most marginalised people.

We save sight in 30 countries worldwide

Where we work