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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
Over the past few years, we have launched a further four projects in Uganda, Sierra Leone, Malawi, and Tanzania. In 2020 we encountered new challenges and needed to pause our projects due to COVID-19. But after taking time to follow all rules and measures, we are now back on track and saving sight. Learn more about how we adapted our project in Tanzania.

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

Reaching more
communities

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 children stand near an eye chart,.
Sightsavers from the field

A bright future: saving sight in Tanzania

Across Tanzania, six newly qualified ophthalmic assistants are putting their skills to work supporting remote eye screening camps and testing sight in local hospitals.

February 2021

Read our reports and strategies

Inclusive eye health resources