Sightsavers is working towards eliminating blinding trachoma in Zambia. In 2017 we distributed more than 2.8 million treatments to help control the spread of the disease.

Our work in Zambia

Zambia is a landlocked country blessed with a wealth of natural resources, including the largest copper deposits in Africa. However, two-thirds of Zambia’s population of 16.2 million continue to live in poverty.

Life expectancy is among the lowest in the world, at just 57 years old, and health outcomes are poor. It is estimated that 2.8 per cent of people over the age of 50 in Zambia are blind, and 11 per cent have visual impairments.

Almost 20 per cent of the population live in areas affected by blinding trachoma. This infectious disease starts out a bit like conjunctivitis, but if it’s not treated it causes scarring to the eyelid that makes the eyelashes turn inward, so with every blink they scrape against the eye. Sightsavers is working towards eliminating trachoma in Zambia.

Meet our Zambia Country Director

Glenda Mulenga joined Sightsavers more than six years ago. In this video, she explains how we are helping to achieve the UN’s Global Goals in Zambia.

Our projects in Zambia

The Global Trachoma Mapping Project is the largest infectious disease survey ever undertaken, helping to pinpoint accurately the world’s trachoma-endemic areas. Completed in January 2016, the project saw surveyors collect data from 2.6 million people in 29 countries, including Zambia, using Android smartphones.

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More from Zambia

A close up of Mr Ndalela examining a young girls eyes.
Sightsavers Reports

Mr Ndalela’s story

Meet Mr Ndalela. He is the only eye surgeon in the Senanga region of western Zambia who can carry out complicated procedures. But he’s frustrated he can’t do more to help people in the community.

Namukolo and her brother carry water buckets through their village.
Sightsavers Reports

Namukolo’s story

We believe that no child should have to stop their education due to reversible blindness and infection. But for Namukolo, this could have been a reality.

Inuto helps to examine someone's eyes.
Sightsavers from the field

How six weeks of training can improve eye care for all

In Zambia, Sightsavers’ Alistair Burnett learned first-hand how basic training courses for eye health workers can provide long-term benefits.

We save sight in 30 countries worldwide

Where we work