In June 2018, Ghana was confirmed as the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to eliminate trachoma, thanks to the work of Sightsavers and our partners. Our next step is to tackle river blindness and lymphatic filariasis.
Ghana, located on the west coast of Africa, boasts consistent economic growth and political stability, yet avoidable blindness is still a problem. Several neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are also endemic here.
In June 2018, Ghana was confirmed as the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to eliminate trachoma following combined efforts of the ministry of health and a number of partners including Sightsavers. Now we are working to eliminate river blindness and lymphatic filariasis too.
We tackle these diseases through mass drug administration (MDA), in which medication is given to large sections of the population to prevent the spread of the diseases. We aim to train health workers and community drug distributors, who educate local people, screen them for NTDs and give out medication. We also aim to raise awareness and support for MDA through TV discussions and radio broadcasts.
In 2017, we helped to distribute more than 5.6 million treatments for neglected tropical diseases across the country, and trained 13,500 local volunteers to give out the medication in their communities.
Watch the video below to see the story of trachoma elimination in Ghana.
Sunday Isiyaku joined Sightsavers more than 20 years ago. He says: “I enjoy seeing the smiles of people we’ve helped and knowing that we have helped to change their lives.”