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Democratic Republic of Congo

Diseases such as river blindness affect millions of people in DRC. In 2017 we helped to distribute almost 3 million treatments to prevent these debilitating diseases.

A close-up of a hand holding Mectizan medication.

Sightsavers is working to eliminate neglected tropical diseases in DRC.

River blindness is endemic, with an estimated 40 million people requiring preventative treatment, while an estimated 37 million people require preventative treatment for lymphatic filariasis.

We are helping the poorest communities in the country to reoccupy fertile agricultural land close to a river and earn an income. The project will reduce the number of children who stay at home because of severe skin conditions or to care for relatives who have become blind or disfigured, enabling them to attend school.

We are also training health workers and supporting mass drug administration across communities to stop the spread of river blindness and LF. The project will start to treat people in the province of Ituri Nord, which borders Uganda, and is crucial to ensure that efforts to eliminate river blindness in the neighbouring country are also successful.

A boy and his father amid a fast-flowing river, where the black flies that carry the river blindness parasite like to breed.

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The Magrabi ICO Cameroon Eye Institute.
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Ndong Jean Faustin stands with crutches.
Sightsavers Reports

Mbalmayo Disability Group, Cameroon

In Cameroon there are laws protecting the rights of people with disabilities, including the right to vote. Yet come election day, many still find serious barriers standing between them and the ballot box.

Michel Fozeu sits at a table wearing headphones and speaking into a microphone.
Sightsavers Reports

Michel’s story

“The message that we want to say through this radio programme is that people with disabilities have to take part in the electoral process.”

Senator Robert Oyono in his wheelchair in front of some steps.
Sightsavers Reports

Robert’s story

Robert Oyono is Cameroon’s first senator with a disability, and is calling for people with disabilities to be included in the political process.

Nanny Powers holds her voting card.
Sightsavers Reports

Nanny’s story

“I didn’t know that disabled people have the right to vote. I didn’t know if it was for a certain class and a certain age.”

Sightsavers Reports

Eveline’s story

“People have a lot of misconceptions about blind women. They think that people with visual impairments cannot do anything at all.”

Floreal Serge Adieme wearing dark glasses and holding a white cane.
Sightsavers Reports

Adieme’s story

“I think if there is a wide mobilisation of the vote among disabled people, it can change things in our country.”

Health experts during a monitoring visit to Aru in Ituri North.
Sightsavers blog

Braving the odds to combat NTDs in Democratic Republic of Congo

Sightsavers surveillance manager Ndellejong Cosmas Ejong explains what has already been achieved in DRC, and how we’re pushing ahead to tackle these debilitating neglected tropical diseases.

Nanny Powers stands in the street holding her voting card.
Sightsavers blog

A battle to reach the ballot box: Cameroon’s growing disability movement

As Cameroon prepares for its general election, Sightsavers Country Director Joseph Oye explains why he hopes more people with disabilities will vote.

Student Ariane smiles at her desk while wearing her new glasses.
Sightsavers from the field

May highlights: updates from around the world

News from Mali, where a new initiative is helping children with visual impairments to go to school. Plus updates from Guinea, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Cameroon.

NTD coordinators in Nigeria receive the keys to their new motorbikes from the Director of Public Health.
Sightsavers from the field

April highlights: updates from around the world

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Two surgeons dressed in scrubs prepare to carry out a cataract operation on a patient.
sightsavers_news

Experts praise Sightsavers’ innovative funding in Cameroon

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