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Ghana

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.

A village in the Yendi region of Ghana, featuring circular mud huts and trees.

Ghana, on the west coast of Africa, boasts consistent economic growth and political stability, yet several blinding diseases are endemic in the country.

Sightsavers has worked in Ghana since the 1950s, and we’re on track to tackle these diseases for good. In June 2018, Ghana was confirmed as the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to eliminate trachoma following, the efforts of the ministry of health and 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. 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 medication in their communities.

In 2016 we also helped to screen schoolchildren in Ghana for health problems such as poor vision and worm infections, and distributed spectacles and treatments. This was part of our School Health Integrated Programming (SHIP) project.

Watch the video below to see the story of trachoma elimination in Ghana.

At a glance

Total population
  • 28.21 million

  • What we focus on
  • Trachoma
  • River blindness
  • Lymphatic filariasis

  • Key programmes
  • A billion NTD treatments
  • Reducing river blindness
  • SHIP: health in schools
  • How we’re making a difference in Ghana

    Two women have their eyes examined while walking in the field with their crops.

    Banishing trachoma

    In late 2017, a team of eye care workers raced through cities and villages in Ghana to find any remaining trachoma patients.
    Read about our trip

    Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame speaking into a microphone at an event.

    Disability rights

    Sightsavers advocacy adviser Gertrude Fefoame, who is based in Ghana, has been elected to the UN's disability committee.
    Read about Gertrude

    Rahinatu holds her granddaughter and smiles following her trachoma surgery.

    Changing lives

    As part of our work to eliminate trachoma, we examined millions of people, diagnosed them and referred them for sight-saving treatment.
    Read their stories

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    More from Ghana

    Two smiling children from the Yendi district in Ghana wave their hands in the air.
    Sightsavers blog

    What we’ve learned from trachoma elimination in Ghana

    Sarah Bartlett discusses Sightsavers’ involvement in this milestone, what we’ve learned from the experience and the work that lies ahead.

    sightsavers_news

    Celebrations held in Ghana to mark trachoma elimination

    Government leaders, health workers, volunteers and international aid workers have gathered in Ghana’s capital, Accra, to mark the achievement.

    Two women have their eyes examined while walking in the field with their crops.
    Sightsavers from the field

    The final days of trachoma in Ghana

    Sightsavers’ Kate McCoy followed a team of eye care workers as they raced through cities and villages to find any remaining patients: they needed to treat them all to eliminate the disease for good.

    A group of boys from Yendhi district in Ghana smile for the camera.
    Sightsavers from the field

    “Eliminating trachoma will make this world a better place”

    David Agyemang, Sightsavers’ programme manager in Ghana, describes the optimism and celebration as the disease is banished from the country.

    A trichiasis patient lies on a table outside his home, while a surgeon operates on his eyes.
    sightsavers_news

    Image of Sightsavers’ work in Ghana wins photo competition

    A picture taken by photographer Peter Nicholls has been awarded first prize by the International Trachoma Initiative (ITI).

    Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame smiling.
    sightsavers_news

    Sightsavers’ Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame elected to UN disability committee

    Gertrude was one of six candidates elected in the first round of voting, of which three are women, which has improved the committee's gender balance.

    Rahinatu holds her granddaughter and smiles following her trachoma surgery.
    Sightsavers Reports

    In Ghana, we’ve beaten trachoma and changed millions of lives

    In May 2018, Ghana became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to eliminate trachoma. Read the amazing stories here.

    A group of children in Ghana smile and wave at the camera.
    sightsavers_news

    Trachoma is eliminated in Ghana

    Ghana has become the first country in sub-Saharan Africa and the Commonwealth to eliminate trachoma, as validated by the World Health Organization.

    Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame.
    Sightsavers blog

    Why I’m standing for the UN disability committee

    Growing up with visual impairment in Ghana, Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame experienced discrimination during her education and early employment years.

    Trachoma patient Amadu Asama from Ghana is surrounded by her grandchildren following her successful operation.
    sightsavers_news

    BBC invites Sightsavers to discuss trachoma elimination

    Sightsavers Director of Neglected Tropical Diseases Simon Bush was invited onto the radio programme to talk about whether the end is in sight for trachoma.

    Gertrude Fefoame
    sightsavers_news

    Sightsavers’ advocacy work strides forward

    Sightsavers has received recognition from the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) for its advocacy work on disability inclusion.

    Simon Peter Otoyo
    sightsavers_news

    International media highlight Sightsavers’ work

    Sightsavers’ efforts to eliminate NTDs and support people with disabilities to live independent lives were featured in internationally influential media.

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