Sightsavers and GiveWell

Sightsavers works closely with GiveWell to deliver cost-effective deworming treatments that protect schoolchildren from two parasitic infections.

GiveWell is known for its in-depth analysis to find and recommend charities. It has recommended and funded Sightsavers for our deworming programmes since 2017.

These programmes treat children for two parasitic infections: schistosomiasis, an infection that causes the death of 200,000 people a year in sub-Saharan Africa, and intestinal worms, which affect 1.5 billion people worldwide. 

Both these ancient diseases have been infecting humans for thousands of years. If left untreated, they can cause nutritional problems and can affect cognitive and physical development. This not only has an impact on children’s health, but also affects their ability to concentrate, which may cause them to miss school – this affects their future prospects and has a broader impact on the economy.

What do GiveWell and Sightsavers hope to achieve? 

Thanks to GiveWell-supported projects, Sightsavers aims to treat school-age children for schistosomiasis and intestinal worms through programmes in schools and local communities. Both diseases can be treated with a single dose of deworming medication, often distributed in schools by specially trained teachers, who also promote the importance of hand washing and good hygiene. By preventing infection, students are more likely to be able to stay in school 

Which countries are involved? 

Sightsavers’ GiveWell-supported deworming projects are protecting children from schistosomiasis and intestinal worms in Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Chad, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Cameroon. 

A screengrab from a video chat, showing Alyssa Marriner and Cosmas Ejong.

How can deworming change the world?

Sightsavers technical adviser Ndellejong Cosmas Ejong tells us via video about his work to fight parasitic worm infections and how deworming can have a huge impact around the world.

Watch the video

Deworming: the diseases we treat

Intestinal worms live in the digestive system, causing malnourishment and leaving people susceptible to illness.

Children aged three to eight are most at risk: the disease can cause them to miss school, damaging their education and development. To prevent this, school children are often given a single dose of medication to treat the disease. Good hygiene can also stop intestinal worms spreading.

More about intestinal worms

Known as ‘snail fever’, schistosomiasis is caused by parasites released by freshwater snails. At first there may be no symptoms, but it can lead to pain, diarrhoea and death.

The disease mainly affects poorer communities that don’t have access to clean drinking water or adequate sanitation, but medication can stop people catching it. It is often treated alongside other neglected tropical diseases.

More about schistosomiasis

What we’ve achieved since 2017

27 million
treatments given to protect children from disease
medical training courses provided for teachers
visits made to support schools

You can help us fight neglected tropical diseases


More about our deworming work

In Cameroon, a schoolboy in a classroom has a drink of water after taking deworming medication.
Sightsavers stories

“I don’t have a tummy ache any more!”

Hear first-hand how Sightsavers is working with GiveWell to control intestinal worms and schistosomiasis, two devastating diseases that affect thousands of children in Cameroon.