Inclusive eye health

Our goal is to ensure all our eye health work is sustainable, accessible and planned with gender and disability considerations in mind.

A young girl plays with her siblings on her bed.

At Sightsavers, we want all our health programmes to include people with disabilities, women and other marginalised groups, such as people with HIV/AIDS and transgender people.

This is particularly important in eye health: we aim to empower marginalised groups so they can get treatment for eye conditions and are able to access other services, such as eye screening.

We also work to improve local health care by helping governments and local stakeholders to provide inclusive and sustainable health services that are available for all.

It’s an indescribable feeling to know that my granddaughter Sumaiya is going to be helped.
 Razia Begum, Bangladesh
Sumaiya smiles while wearing her new glasses following her cataract operation. Her grandmother looks on from the background.

What we’re doing

We’re committed to making sure people with disabilities are included in our eye health programmes.

Pilot project in Bhopal, India
In 2016 and 2017 we tested different approaches to inclusive eye health in a programme in Bhopal, targeting some of the poorest and most vulnerable people. Find out more about the pilot project.

Replicating the approach in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Mozambique
After refining our approach, we are applying it to other programmes. We work with governments, NGO eye health providers and national disabled people’s organisations to make sure people with disabilities are involved at all stages of a programme. Read a blog about our project in Mozambique.

Continuing to expand our inclusive eye health projects
Our aim is to replicate this across other countries where we run eye health projects, initially in Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. In each case we will work closely with representatives of local disabled people’s organisations.

A woman smiles and holds one hand over her eye after successful cataract surgery.

Reaching more

Following our Bhopal pilot, we're breaking down barriers to eye health for people in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The Right to Health

Read our blogs for more about our inclusion work

Inclusive eye health blogs

More about health

A man with a physical disability sits outside.
Sightsavers Reports

A lightning strike changed Yousub’s life forever

Yousub has come up against decades-long hardships, but with with a sight-saving cataract operation, life is finally looking better. Here, he shares his remarkable story.

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
A group of five elderly people on Bhopal. All are sitting on the floor smiling, while wearing spectacles.
Sightsavers blog

Counting the difference: what did we learn in Bhopal?

Emma Jolley travelled to Bhopal to revisit the disability disaggregation pilot happening there and take stock of what we have learned in the past year.

Emma Jolley, December 2015

Read our reports and strategies

Inclusive eye health resources