Sightsavers pledges at least US$25 million to help beat neglected tropical diseases

June 2022

Sightsavers will invest US$25 million over the next four years as part of a renewed push to tackle neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in Africa.

The funding, which will be spent between now and 2025, will help to protect millions of people from the harmful effects of diseases such as trachoma, river blindness and intestinal worms.

Sightsavers chief executive Dr Caroline Harper CBE said: “Sightsavers has been involved in NTD work since the organisation was founded in 1950. Our commitment has increased over the years, and as of the end of 2021 we had spent more than $375 million in total fighting NTDs, and delivered over 1.5 billion treatments. We will be redoubling our efforts in future to support countries across Africa to control and in some cases even eliminate these ancient diseases of poverty.

“We plan to invest at least $25 million of new money not previously announced, which has already been raised from public donations and major donors. This will include a £5 million tribute to our patron, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, to mark her Platinum Jubilee, which will be used to support the elimination of trachoma in the Commonwealth.

“This follows on from the work of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, which made great strides towards beating trachoma. As the next milestone, we hope to be able to report to the Queen later this year that the disease has been eliminated in Malawi.”

Dr Harper announced the funding at the Kigali Summit on Malaria and NTDs, which took place this week alongside the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali. The event was attended by world leaders, donors and other organisations, who made a range of high-level commitments to beating NTDs and malaria.

A close-up of an eye health worker's hands as he shines a light into a patient's eyes to check for signs of trachoma.

What are NTDs?

Neglected tropical diseases are a major cause of preventable blindness around the world. We treat and prevent five debilitating diseases, including trachoma, river blindness and intestinal worms.

About our NTD work
Sightsavers CEO Caroline Harper smiles alongside two colleagues. She's holding a pen. In the background are some brightly lit skyscrapers.
Sightsavers CEO Caroline Harper signing the Kigali Declaration committing to fight NTDs, alongside Sightsavers regional directors John and Fatoumata.

How we’re fighting disease: a recipe to eliminate NTDs

Read our recipe

More on our NTD work

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Dr Ndalela examines a boy's eyes and applies ointment to ease the symptoms of trachoma.

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Eye care staff perform trachoma surveys on children in Cote D'Ivoire.

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