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Sierra Leone

Sightsavers has been working in Sierra Leone since the 1960s. Our focus is on treating cataracts and preventing the spread of neglected tropical diseases.

A man and a large group of children smiling and looking at the camera.

Sightsavers is working to eliminate neglected tropical diseases in Sierra Leone, particularly river blindness and lymphatic filariasis.

It’s thought that 3.3 million people need medication to protect them against river blindness, and more than 6.9 million people for lymphatic filariasis. To tackle this, in 2017 we trained more than 29,000 community volunteers to give out medication and distributed almost 10 million treatments in the country.

We also aim to improve the quality of eye health services in the country and ensure more people can access them.

As part of our inclusive education project in the Bombali district of Sierra Leone, funded by the European Union, we support children with disabilities, particularly girls, to make sure they have a chance to go to school. We are working with partners to improve 45 schools and train teachers so they have the specialist skills to help children learn.

It is so important to send children with disabilities to school, because they too have goals like any other children.
Hassanatu, inclusive education teacher
Teach Hassanatu helps pupils in the classroom.

How we’re making a difference in Sierra Leone

Staff from Makeni Hospital's eyecare team smile for the camera.

Protecting sight

We train eye care workers such as Abubakar and his team so they can save sight across the country.
Meet the team

Students from Gbendembu School in Sierra Leone.

Access to education

Our education project in Sierra Leone is enabling children with disabilities to learn alongside their peers.
Read about the project

Close up photo of a visually impaired man wearing dark glasses.

Disability rights

We’re campaigning to make sure people with disabilities like Samuel are able to learn, earn and be happy.
Read Samuel’s story

Your donation could help to protect sight

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More from Sierra Leone

A girl having her eye sight tested.
Sightsavers Reports

Sierra Leone Eye Care Programme

More than 90 per cent of all blindness in Sierra Leone is also avoidable, significantly higher than the global average. This project aims to help reduce avoidable blindness and vision impairment.

Students from Gbendembu School in Sierra Leone.
Sightsavers from the field

“We’ve learned to treat all children equally”

Sightsavers' Kate McCoy travelled to northern Sierra Leone to visit a school where teachers are being specially trained to support children with disabilities.

Student Ariane smiles at her desk while wearing her new glasses.
Sightsavers from the field

May highlights: updates from around the world

News from Mali, where a new initiative is helping children with visual impairments to go to school. Plus updates from Guinea, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Cameroon.

Staff from Makeni Hospital's eyecare team smile for the camera.
Sightsavers from the field

Meeting Sierra Leone’s miracle workers

A group of Sightsavers staff travelled to Makeni Hospital in Sierra Leone to meet the amazing eye care workers your donations are helping to support.

A girl standing outside a school
sightsavers_news

Children with disabilities in Sierra Leone given the chance to go to school

The Education for All project will focus on girls with disabilities, who are often excluded because of prejudice or a lack of funding.

Henry attends an inclusive school.
Sightsavers Reports

Henry’s story

An inclusive school project for blind children in Sierra Leone has boosted Henry’s confidence: his ambition is to become a politician and change his country.

Jenneh stands with a group of people outside her school.
Sightsavers Reports

Jenneh’s story

Jenneh is 15 and is doing well in school. But for a blind teenage girl living in Sierra Leone, just being able to attend school is a huge achievement.

A women is walking up to the entrance of a building. Men stand around outside.
Sightsavers from the field

Back from the brink: how Sierra Leone is recovering from Ebola

Sightsavers CEO Dr Caroline Harper visited Sierra Leone to see how health workers have coped since the Ebola virus. 

Sightsavers blog

The SDGs one year on – how are we doing?

Andrew Griffiths reports on the progress being made so far in meeting the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set for the years 2015-2030.

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