Our work in Nigeria

More than 4.7 million people in Nigeria are at risk of blindness from the advanced form of trachoma. Our work in the country focuses on treating and protecting people from trachoma and other diseases.

Young girl washing her hands with water poured from a teapot by her father.

Sightsavers’ main focus in Nigeria is controlling and eliminating neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).

It’s thought that 128.9 million people in Nigeria are at risk of NTDs, and people living in poverty are particularly badly affected. In 2016, the Global Trachoma Mapping Project found that Nigeria had the second highest burden of trachoma in the world. As a result, we helped 22 states to map the prevalence of NTDs, so our programmes can be accurately targeted where they’re needed most.

In November 2017 we reached our target of providing one billion treatments for NTDs, with the billionth treatment given to a seven-year-old girl named Dorcas in Kaduna State, Nigeria.

As part of the Ascend West and Central Africa programme, Sightsavers worked with consortium partners to support Nigeria to combat five NTDs. In 2020, the programme helped to provide more than 1,500 operations for hydrocele, a symptom of lymphatic filariasis in men that causes painful scrotal swelling.

We work closely with local communities, and we use local volunteers to build trust and encourage people to accept the treatments provided to them. In 2021 we trained more than 131,000 community volunteers to give out medication.

Our work in the country also covers wider eye health. The Nigeria Eye Health Programme, which launched in 2017, has helped to ensure thousands of people are able to be diagnosed and treated for eye conditions. More than 600 children have had sight-saving cataract surgery, almost 900,000 children have been screened for signs of visual impairment, and 3,850 health staff have been trained to help them diagnose and treat patients.

How we’re making a difference in Nigeria

A billion treatments

In 2017, the billionth treatment for NTDs was given to seven-year-old Dorcas in Nigeria. Hear her story, and learn more about the people we’ve helped. Read the story

Five twelve-year-olds taking part in Super School of 5 at Chikonkomene Primary in Chikankata, Zambia.

Super School of Five

This innovative project, in Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia and Zambia, features superhero characters to encourage children to wash their hands. Meet the superheroes

A group of schoolgirls wearing bright green skirts and white shirts dance in a circle in the school yard in Kaduna, Nigeria.

UNITED in Nigeria

The UNITED project, funded by UK aid, has delivered 116 million treatments to tackle neglected tropical diseases in Nigeria.
About the project

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