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Ghana

In June 2018, Ghana was confirmed as the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to eliminate trachoma, thanks to the work of Sightsavers and our partners.

A village in the Yendi region of Ghana, featuring circular mud huts and trees.

Ghana, on the west coast of Africa, boasts consistent economic growth and political stability, yet several blinding diseases are endemic in the country.

Sightsavers has worked in Ghana since the 1950s, and we’re on track to tackle these diseases for good. In June 2018, Ghana was confirmed as the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to eliminate trachoma following, the efforts of the ministry of health and partners including Sightsavers.

Now we are working to eliminate river blindness and lymphatic filariasis too. We tackle these diseases through mass drug administration (MDA), in which medication is given to large sections of the population to prevent the spread of the diseases. In 2018, we helped to distribute more than 3.8 million treatments for neglected tropical diseases across the country, and trained 20,000 local volunteers to give out medication in their communities.

In 2016 we also helped to screen schoolchildren in Ghana for health problems such as poor vision and worm infections, and distributed spectacles and treatments. This was part of our School Health Integrated Programming (SHIP) project.

Watch the video below to see the story of trachoma elimination in Ghana.

At a glance

Total population
  • 28.21 million

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

  • Key programmes
  • A billion NTD treatments
  • Reducing river blindness
  • SHIP: health in schools
  • How we’re making a difference in Ghana

    Two women have their eyes examined while walking in the field with their crops.

    Banishing trachoma

    In late 2017, a team of eye care workers raced through cities and villages in Ghana to find any remaining trachoma patients.
    Read about our trip

    Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame speaking into a microphone at an event.

    Disability rights

    Sightsavers advocacy adviser Gertrude Fefoame, who is based in Ghana, has been elected to the UN's disability committee.
    Read about Gertrude

    Rahinatu holds her granddaughter and smiles following her trachoma surgery.

    Changing lives

    As part of our work to eliminate trachoma, we examined millions of people, diagnosed them and referred them for sight-saving treatment.
    Read their stories

    Your donation could help to protect sight

    DONATE

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    Including people with disabilities in African political life

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    Universal health coverage in Ghana: how can we really make progress?

    At the heart of universal health care is equity, and a key question any country must ask when making roadmaps for UHC is who to include first.

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    Three school children from Ghana smiling outside their school.
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    It’s all about the numbers: how economics is helping us to save sight in schools

    By using economics, we can make sure our school eye screening programmes are affordable and efficient, ensuring thousands of children in poorer countries can get the eye care they need.

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    Mary, a volunteer in Ghana, sits with three smiling children.
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    Meet Mary, a sight-saving volunteer

    Mary, a dedicated mother of seven, used to work as a teacher. Now, she is saving sight in Asubende village in Ghana, by distributing medication to protect people from river blindness. Here you can meet some of the people she has helped.

    A close-up of two girls holding hands.
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    “Grace gave me the courage to empower people with disabilities”

    On International Women's Day, disability ambassador Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame remembers Grace Preko, her friend, sister and role model who showed her there was life after blindness.

    A group of children in Ghana smile and wave at the camera.
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    Ghana waves goodbye to trachoma

    In June 2018 Ghana officially became trachoma-free, showing how your kind donations make a real difference.

    Two smiling children from the Yendi district in Ghana wave their hands in the air.
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    What we’ve learned from trachoma elimination in Ghana

    Sarah Bartlett discusses Sightsavers’ involvement in this milestone, what we’ve learned from the experience and the work that lies ahead.

    Sarah Bartlett, September 2018
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    Celebrations held in Ghana to mark trachoma elimination

    Government leaders, health workers, volunteers and international aid workers have gathered in Ghana’s capital, Accra, to mark the achievement.

    August 2018
    Two women have their eyes examined while walking in the field with their crops.
    Sightsavers from the field

    The final days of trachoma in Ghana

    Sightsavers’ Kate McCoy followed a team of eye care workers as they raced through cities and villages to find any remaining patients: they needed to treat them all to eliminate the disease for good.

    August 2018
    A trichiasis patient lies on a table outside his home, while a surgeon operates on his eyes.
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    Image of Sightsavers’ work in Ghana wins photo competition

    A picture taken by photographer Peter Nicholls has been awarded first prize by the International Trachoma Initiative (ITI).

    August 2018
    A group of boys from Yendhi district in Ghana smile for the camera.
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    “Eliminating trachoma will make this world a better place”

    David Agyemang, Sightsavers’ programme manager in Ghana, describes the optimism and celebration as the disease is banished from the country.

    July 2018

    We save sight in 30 countries worldwide

    Where we work