Neglected tropical diseases such as trachoma and river blindness continue to affect Guinea-Bissau. In 2017 we helped to distribute more than 950,000 treatments to stop the spread of these diseases.

Our work in Guinea-Bissau

Sightsavers’ work in Guinea-Bissau focuses on eliminating neglected tropical diseases, specifically river blindness, lymphatic filariasis and trachoma.

As part of our projects to stop the spread of the three diseases, we help to distribute medication and promote cleanliness by building water points and latrines, as well as organising outreach screening in villages where people are affected by the diseases.

Helping to prevent these diseases also enables the poorest communities in the country to return to fertile agricultural land close to rivers, which they may have vacated because of the risk of disease. This enables them to earn an income from farming. Our work also helps to 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 and continue their education.

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 Guinea-Bissau aims to eliminate the two neglected tropical diseases by giving medication to those at risk. This stops the infection from being passed on, and also stop the flies that transmit river blindness from breeding.

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