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Our work in Democratic Republic of Congo

Diseases such as river blindness affect millions of people in DRC. In 2019 we helped to distribute more than 3.7 million treatments to prevent these debilitating diseases.

A close-up of a hand holding medication.

Sightsavers is working to eliminate neglected tropical diseases in DRC.

River blindness is endemic, with an estimated 46 million people requiring preventative treatment, while an estimated 42 million people require preventative treatment for lymphatic filariasis (LF).

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 treats 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.

At a glance

Total population
  • 84 million

  • What we focus on
  • River blindness
  • Lymphatic filariasis
  • Schistosomiasis

  • Key programmes
  • Ascend
  • Tropical Data Project

  • Previous programmes
  • Trachoma Mapping Project
  • Reducing river blindness
  • A billion NTD treatments
  • 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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