Democratic Republic of Congo

Neglected tropical diseases such as river blindness affect millions of people in DRC. In 2017 we helped to distribute more than 3.6 million treatments to prevent the spread of these debilitating diseases.

Our work in Democratic Republic of Congo

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.

How we’re making a difference

Our programme to reduce river blindness and lymphatic filariasis in Democratic Republic of Congo aims to eliminate the two neglected tropical diseases by giving medication to those at risk. We also distribute medication to prevent intestinal worms and schistosomiasis, and help to train local volunteers so they can give out the medication in their communities.

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