Sightsavers has been working in Tanzania since the 1970s. In 2017 we examined 177,000 people to check for eye conditions such as cataracts, and helped to carry out 9,000 sight-saving operations.
Located in Eastern Africa, Tanzania has a population of 53.5 million people. Many live in poorer or more remote areas and access to healthcare can be difficult. All five of the most common neglected tropical diseases are present in the country: trachoma, river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis (known as ‘snail fever’), and soil-transmitted helminths (aka worms).
Sightsavers has been working in the country since the 1970s, helping to support and strengthen local eye care systems to tackle preventable blindness. We provide specialist training for healthcare professionals, increase public awareness of eye care and lobby the government to ensure eye care is universally available.
Our programmes in Tanzania mainly focus on preventing and treating trachoma, and providing cataract operations for those who need them. We also work to promote equal opportunities for people with disabilities.
Gosbert Katunzi has worked for Sightsavers for more than five years. He says: “I particularly enjoy visiting and talking to people with disabilities and seeing how we are helping them.”
Two-year-old Bakir from Tanzania was born with cataracts that severely affected his sight, causing him to stumble and bump into things. His parents worried about his future and how he would cope with impaired vision as he grew up. But thanks to Sightsavers, a straightforward operation restored his vision, giving him and his family hope. Read Bakir’s story.