Sightsavers promotes inclusive health because we believe that everyone, wherever they live, should be able to receive quality, affordable health care.

An older lady using a stick is escorted down a hospital corridor by a health worker in a white coat.

Good health and wellbeing is a fundamental human right, allowing children to go to school and adults to earn a living. But more than 400 million people worldwide lack access to even basic health care services.

We want to make sure that effective, affordable, accessible health services are available for everyone, particularly women, people with disabilities, and other marginalised groups such as people with HIV or AIDS. We aim to empower people so they can make informed decisions and prioritise their health.

We work with partners, governments, the UN and many other organisations, and our work directly contributes to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to end poverty, protect the planet and ‘leave no one behind’ by 2030.

Watch our new film below, explaining Sightsavers’ approach to making health services more inclusive for everyone. (Note: the footage from Mozambique was filmed prior to Cyclone Idai and Cyclone Kenneth, and in the Nampula region, which has not been affected by the emergency.)

Watch the World Health Organization’s videos: people with disabilities share their experiences of accessing health services.

What we’re doing

We’ve devised a clear inclusion strategy
Making sure development is inclusive for all is an increasing priority worldwide. In 2015 we launched our first social inclusion strategy, which was developed in collaboration with disability groups in several countries and aims to increase inclusion in our health programmes. The latest version of the strategy was published in 2021.

We’re making sure everyone can be treated to prevent disease
We’re working to eliminate neglected topical diseases, which currently affect a billion people around the world.  But if we aren’t able to treat people who are most marginalised, such as women or people with disabilities, the goal of eliminating these diseases will never be achieved. So we’ve collaborated with other organisations to make sure reaching everyone is a priority.

We’re carrying out research to learn how we can improve
In Uganda, our team carried out a survey to find out how inclusive our neglected tropical disease projects are. By holding group discussions and learning from our findings, we can make sure our projects don’t directly or indirectly exclude people.

We’re ensuring our eye health projects reach everyone
As part of our inclusive eye health programme in Bhopal in India, we tested different ways to help people with disabilities receive treatment, and also learned how we could change the infrastructure in hospitals to help people with limited mobility. We have used what we learned to refine our approach and replicate it across other countries, starting in Mozambique, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Muhammed has his eyes tested by a health worker.

Making eye health services inclusive

Learn about our inclusive eye health programmes that make sure everyone, regardless of gender or disabilities, can access the support they need.

Inclusive eye health
A group of people, one in a wheelchair, looking at a ramp at a hospital in Mozambique.

Improving accessibility

We've developed an accessibility audit pack that can be used to help develop national accessibility standards, assess existing health infrastructure and guide the development of new health facilities.

Accessibility audit pack

Learn more about our strategy to include everyone

Read our Annual inclusion report

More about health

Amina covers one eye with her hand and smiles after cataract surgery.
Sightsavers blog

“Many people who would have gone blind have had their sight restored”

Project coordinator Magdalena Focus talks about the challenges and successes of the community inclusive eye health project in Tanzania in 2020.

Magdalena Focus, February 2021
A close-up of people placing their hands on top of one another.
Sightsavers blog

12 tips to make health programmes inclusive for people with disabilities

Sightsavers hosted a workshop focusing on practical approaches to disability inclusion, where participants generated ideas to make sure healthcare is as inclusive as possible.

Andrea Pregel, June 2019
Disabled People’s Organisation leaders, Sightsavers staff and medical practitioners workers outside a hospital along with Camilo Morreira.
Sightsavers blog

“Nothing about us without us”: improving access to health care in Mozambique

Through Sightsavers’ inclusive health project in Nampula, Camilo Morreira shares his work to ensure that health care facilities are accessible for people with disabilities.

Camilo Morreira, April 2019

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