Our work in Malawi

Sightsavers has been working in Malawi since the 1950s. Our focus in the country is to improve eye health, protect against blinding diseases and make sure children with disabilities receive the support they need.

Young girl walking hand in hand with her mother through greenery

Malawi is one of the world’s poorest countries. Almost 85 per cent of the population lives in remote, rural communities that are far from the country’s few eye health centres.

It’s thought that more than 200,000 people in Malawi have visual impairments, with half caused by cataracts.

Sightsavers started working in Malawi in the 1950s. Much of our work in the country involves helping to improve eye care services, particularly in rural areas, so people with visual impairments can be diagnosed and treated.

In Malawi, 8.2 million people live in areas at risk of trachoma, and more than 33,000 people have the advanced stage of the disease that can lead to blindness. Sightsavers is working to eliminate trachoma and provides vital outreach to isolated communities, enabling health workers to reach as many people as possible.

We’re also training teachers to make sure children with disabilities are able to go to school and learn alongside their peers.

At a glance

Total population
  • 19.1 million

  • What we focus on
  • Cataracts
  • Trachoma
  • Education

    Key programmes
  • Cataract surgery
  • Tropical Data Project

  • Previous programmes
  • CATCH: coordinated health
  • The Trachoma Initiative
  • Hecmond has cerebral palsy. Without the caregivers at his school, I don’t think life would be as it is today.
    Martha, Hecmond’s mother
    Hecmond sits on a chair wearing a red t-shirt while his mother reaches out to him.

    How we’re making a difference in Malawi

    A woman standing in a roomful of other people. She is covering one eye with her hand.

    Fighting disease

    Sightsavers is working to eliminate debilitating neglected tropical diseases, such as trachoma, in the country. Find out how Malawi is faring as it inches closer to stamping out trachoma for good. Read the blog

    Young children hold hands in a circle outside.

    Leaving no one behind

    We're training teachers and caregivers how to include children with disabilities at pre-school, so they are able to develop their physical and cognitive skills and play alongside other children. About the project

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    Where we work