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Neglected tropical diseases

We help to treat and prevent five debilitating diseases that affect more than a billion people. These parasitic and bacterial infections are known as neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).

Children in Malawi queue up to have their eyes checked by an eye health worker.

How is our NTD team responding to COVID-19?

Read the statement (PDF)

Neglected tropical diseases are a major cause of preventable blindness. They are most prevalent in rural regions, poor urban areas and conflict zones.

The diseases affect more than a billion people worldwide, and can cause severe and lifelong impairment. Yet they can be prevented, treated and, in many cases, eliminated completely.

Sightsavers works with thousands of local volunteers to distribute millions of donated treatments to protect people against NTDs, and teach them about the importance of good hygiene to prevent infection.

Here you can find out more about the five neglected tropical diseases that Sightsavers works to treat and prevent (two of which are blinding, and three that are non-blinding), as well as the progress being made to combat them and, in some cases, eliminate them completely.

Watch the video below to learn more about our work to combat these diseases.

Eye surgeon Dr Ndalela examines a child's eyes to check for signs of trachoma.

The End is in Sight: our campaign to eliminate trachoma

We’re on a mission to stamp out the disease by 2025, but we need your help to banish it for good.

About our campaign

You can help us fight neglected tropical diseases

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Our NTD projects

A child drinks water from a cup during a drug administration session in Nigeria.

Ascend: fighting disease in West and Central Africa

Sightsavers’ largest multiple neglected tropical disease (NTD) programme to date is closing early. Although great progress has been made, the job is not done. Discover how you can play your part.

children stand with a dose pole as they are measured for medicine.

The Accelerate trachoma elimination programme

Accelerate aims to eliminate trachoma in at least eight countries and speed up progress in several others by 2023.

Five school students in Zambia in front of a mural depicting superheroes from Sightsavers' Super School of 5 programme.

Super School of Five

This project, in Ethiopia, Kenya and Zambia, introduces five superhero cartoon characters to encourage school children to wash their hands and face.

A man in scrubs standing outside.

Tropical Data

This large-scale project uses smartphone technology to gather data as part of the global fight to eliminate trachoma.

A close-up of a mobile phone being used by a health worker to record data.

Digital health: using technology to fight disease

Sightsavers is pioneering new ways to use technology as part of programmes to tackle avoidable blindness.

A man examines black fly larvae found near the the Agogo river in northern Uganda.

Onchocerciasis elimination mapping project

We’re working with our partners in Ghana, Mozambique and Nigeria to devise new ways to collect valuable data about river blindness.

Learn how we’re fighting disease