Together we’ve reached a milestone

February 2018
Simon and Dorcas.
Simon and Dorcas's lives have been transformed thanks to your donations, which are helping to fight disease.

Together we’ve achieved the milestone of providing one billion treatments to protect people against neglected tropical diseases.

These diseases, known as NTDs, are a group of painful and debilitating infections that affect around 1.2 billion people across the globe. They include river blindness (onchocerciasis), which causes excruciating itching and eventual sight loss, and lymphatic filariasis, the world’s leading cause of physical disability.

NTDs affect the most poverty-stricken and vulnerable. Yet today, thanks to you and those billion treatments, millions of people are being protected. You’ve made history, and you should be really proud!

A group of CDDs stand outside their training building in Nigeria.
Volunteers distribute medication within the community, helping us to protect local people against debilitating diseases.

Huge help from the community

We’re also extremely grateful to the incredible volunteers who distribute the NTD treatments donated by global pharmaceutical companies. Known as community directed distributors (CDDs), these dedicated people are nominated by their local communities and play a huge role in enabling us to reach those in desperate need.

CDDs have first-hand experience of the devastating impact NTDs have on people’s lives, and take on the huge responsibility of administering treatments to often remote, hard-to-reach communities – with the help of their dose poles.

Sightsavers and partners have trained hundreds of thousands of CDDs across Africa. This community-run approach to mass drug administration has been cited by the World Health Organization as being one of Africa’s most successful strategies in reducing disease at low cost. And we couldn’t have done it without you.

Dorcas, receives her treatment.
Villagers in Kudaru celebrate as Dorcas receives the one billionth treatment for neglected tropical diseases.

The billionth treatment

Last November, seven-year-old Dorcas from Kaduna State, Nigeria, received our billionth treatment against NTDs.

Dorcas’s grandfather, Simon, was infected with river blindness almost 30 years ago. He’s now completely blind and has never seen Dorcas or her brothers and sisters. Thankfully, their future looks much brighter.

Today, Simon is the only person in the village to have lost his sight through river blindness. Following mass administration of preventative drugs, supported by you, there are no new cases of the infection. It means that Dorcas and children like her can go to school and live their lives without the constant threat of NTDs.

Dorcas with her grandfather.
Dorcas leads her grandfather through the village.
All images © Sightsavers/Graeme Robertson.

Your help can make a big difference

We’re working hard to not only control NTDs, but to eliminate them completely in the countries where we work. It costs just 7p/ 8 cent to protect a person from river blindness for a year, and if a community is treated for 16 to 18 years, the risk of catching the disease is eliminated. Please give an extra gift today to help us wipe out NTDs for good.

Help protect more people like Dorcas today

Baraka Ango standing in Nigeria with a dose pole.
Sightsavers from the field

The dose pole: a vital tool helping us to fight disease

These colourful poles are used by community volunteers in the battle to eliminate neglected tropical diseases. But what are they, and how do they work?

January 2018
7 year old Dorcas is standing outside, smiling. She is the one billionth treatment beneficiary.

Sightsavers and partners celebrate delivering a billion NTD treatments

The billionth treatment was administered on Thursday 16 November to a seven-year-old girl named Dorcas, who was at risk of NTDs in Kaduna State, Nigeria.

November 2017
Arjuna Socia, 33 years old, stands outside the Kibwoona Health centre in Masindi, Uganda where she attended the Volunteer Distributor Training for Community Directed Distributors. She is smiling and wearing a pink shirt.
Sightsavers Reports

Ajuna’s story

Ajuna Socia, aged 33, lives in the Bunyoro region in western Uganda, and has been volunteering as a drug distributor for the past five years.

April 2017