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Our work in Liberia

Many people in Liberia suffer from diseases such as river blindness. In 2019, we helped to distribute almost 950,000 treatments to stop the spread of these diseases.

A photo of Jlopleh Barney, a 72 year old mother, dancing after eye surgery in Liberia.

Sightsavers is working to eliminate two neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in Liberia – river blindness and lymphatic filiariasis – by distributing medication each year to communities at risk.

Alongside the medication programme, we produce educational materials to raise awareness of the importance of eye health. We train local volunteers to distribute medication within their communities, and we carry out screenings to check for river blindness and lymphatic filariasis so patients can be referred for treatment.

Thanks to UK aid’s flagship NTD programme, Ascend West and Central Africa, as a consortium, Sightsavers along with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), Mott Macdonald, and the SCI Foundation, is supporting ministries to combat these diseases as well as provide treatment to protect communities from schistosomiasis.

About 50 per cent of people in Liberia live in rural areas that often lack health services. The poor road networks exacerbate the problem: only seven per cent of Liberia’s roads are paved. We work with the Ministry of Health and others to identify and fill gaps in eye care, especially in remote areas.

At a glance

Total population
  • 4.8 million

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

  • Key programmes
  • Cataract surgery
  • Ascend
  • SHIP

  • Previous programmes
  • Reducing river blindness
  • We are pleased with ongoing collaboration with local and international partners such as Sightsavers.
    Former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
    Liberia’s President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
    Doctors in an operating theatre perform eye surgery in Liberia.

    How we’re making a difference

    Sightsavers’ Imran Khan explains how we’re working with the Liberian government to eliminate avoidable blindness in the country, and improve health and education for future generations.

    Read Imran’s blog

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