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Uganda

Sightsavers’ focus in Uganda is to promote social inclusion and tackle neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). In 2017 we distributed 275,000 treatments for NTDs and supported 5,000 sight-saving operations.

 

Our work in Uganda

Sightsavers, at the time known as the Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind, started working in Uganda in 1954. Its first programmes aimed to control river blindness, a neglected tropical disease, and to provide rehabilitation for those whose sight couldn’t be saved.

In 1994, Sightsavers’ Uganda Country Office (UCO) opened in Kampala, and the following year it began working to help blind and visually impaired children participate fully in mainstream schools. Since 2010, our strategic focus has been on improving local health systems, promoting social inclusion and tackling neglected tropical diseases.

Uganda is also home to our award-winning Connecting the Dots project, which provided vocational training to young people with disabilities so they can find work and support themselves financially. The project has transformed attitudes to disability, and shows potential employers how hiring people with disabilities could benefit their business.

Simon Peter Otoyo teaching knitting to his students at Amor Foundation Vocational Training School in Bweyale, Uganda.

How we’re making a difference

Former child soldier Simon Peter was blinded by a bullet at the age of 11. After years of intense pain, Sightsavers’ Connecting the Dots programme in Uganda helped him to train as a knitting teacher. The programme has enabled him to regain his independence and change attitudes about disability: he now has a full-time job teaching students at a vocational training institute, and can support his wife and 10-month-old son.  Read Simon Peter’s story.

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More from Uganda

Margaret Adome sitting outside her home with three of her six children.
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News / NTDs /

Sightsavers’ trachoma work in Uganda features in The Telegraph

Journalists from the newspaper visited Uganda to see how the country is tackling this infectious neglected tropical disease, thanks to help from UK Aid.

An elderly woman in Uganda has her eyes examined to check for trachoma.
sightsavers_news

Free eye examinations launched for older people in Uganda

People aged over 65 can now have a free eye examination while collecting their pension, and can then be referred for treatment for conditions such as cataracts or blinding trachoma.

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.

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