Sightsavers has been working in Tanzania since the 1970s. In 2016 we examined almost 180,000 people to check for eye conditions such as cataracts, and supported 11,500 sight-saving operations.

Our work in Tanzania

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.

Bakir Rashid, 2, smiles as he walks with his father on a family outing to the beach days after a successful bilateral cataract operation.

How we’re making a difference

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.

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More from Tanzania

Asha plays in a tree outside her home with another child from her village.
Sightsavers Reports

Asha’s story

Asha was bullied by other children because of her cataracts. But a straightforward operation restored her sight, her confidence and her hope for the future.

An elderly man crouching down. highlighting the challenges of old age and disability in Tanzania.

Research reveals discrimination around old age and disability in Tanzania

A new report reveals that older people and those with disabilities in Tanzania face discrimination when accessing education and health services.

A medical coordin examines patients at an eye health camp in Tanzania.

Tanzanian government and global partners team up to fight trachoma

A group of government departments and charitable organisations have convened to discuss joint efforts to eliminate blinding trachoma in the country.

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