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Our work in Cameroon

Many neglected tropical diseases are endemic in Cameroon. In 2019 we distributed more than 4.5 million treatments and trained 10,000 volunteers to give out medication.

Children in Cameroon hold tablets that they will take to prevent the spread of diseases such as trachoma.

More than five million people in Cameroon require treatment for trachoma, and more than 16 million for lymphatic filariasis (LF).

Sightsavers aims to eliminate four neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), including trachoma, river blindness and LF, in the country by distributing medication to stop the spread and transmission of the diseases. We also help to train health workers and community representatives to give out medication and promote good hygiene.

For more than 20 years, medication has been distributed to stop the spread of river blindness, yet large numbers of people are still testing positive for the disease. Our research is also finding new ways to fight river blindness in Cameroon. Efforts are also being made to reach nomadic communities through a strategy to test and treat them in a way that’s culturally appropriate.

It is estimated that two million people in Cameroon have some form of disability. Sightsavers is working to ensure that children with disabilities, including those with visual impairments, are able to go to school and can be educated alongside their peers. We also aim to help adults with disabilities participate fully in society by ensuring they can take part in politics and the democratic process.

View the full video of our Cameroon country director explaining how Sightsavers is helping to achieve the UN’s Global Goals in Cameroon.

I want to show river blindness to the population and explain to them the reason for this disease.
Cameroon footballer Benoit Assou-Ekotto
Footballer Benoit Assou-Ekotto during a visit to one of Sightsavers' programmes in Cameroon.
A team of surgeons carrying out a cataract operation in Cameroon.

How we’re making a difference in Cameroon

With the help of our partners, we’re pioneering a new way of funding health care in the country. With the help of a development loan, we hope to provide up to 18,000 cataract operations in Cameroon by 2022.

Read the story

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More from Cameroon

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Photos from Sightsavers river blindness projects feature at prominent research event

A selection of Sightsavers river blindness photographs featured as part of the Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases (COR-NTD) conference.

November 2020
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Finding nomadic communities: our research in action

How do you provide treatment for neglected tropical diseases like river blindness when you can’t find some of the people who are most at risk?

November 2020
A close-up of a plastic vial containing the flies that transmit river blindness.
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Three Sightsavers nominees win IAPB awards

The accolades, from the the International Association and Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), recognise and celebrate young and upcoming staff and volunteers within the eye health sector.

October 2020
A boy using a phone with his father sitting behind.
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Programme staff explain how we’re supporting children's learning during lockdown

Sightsavers staff provide a first-hand insight into the five ways we’re making sure children with disabilities aren’t left behind during the COVID-19 pandemic.

July 2020
A man walks behind his cattle on a dirt road
Sightsavers blog

Why innovation is urgently needed to reach nomadic communities during COVID-19

Kareen Atekem reflects on the challenges and opportunities in reaching Cameroon’s nomadic populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kareen Atekem, July 2020
Children washing themselves in a stream.
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How our research is finding new ways to fight river blindness

For more than 20 years, medication has been distributed in Cameroon to stop the spread of river blindness. Yet people are still testing positive for the disease. We wanted to know why.

August 2019

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