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.

A man is being led across a river by his wife. The water of the river is just below their knees.

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
  • I am so happy. I can see what everyone is wearing – I can see all the colours. I am so thankful for this miracle!
    Nazondani, cataract patient from Malawi
    Nazondani smiles after her surgery.

    How we’re making a difference in Malawi

    Close up of Winesi's face smiling.

    Saving sight

    After years of struggle, Winesi has found happiness and hope for the future thanks to a cataract operation.
    Read Winesi’s story

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

    Fighting disease

    Sightsavers are working to eliminate neglected tropical diseases, such as trachoma, in the country.
    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 in pre-school.
    Read the story

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    Illustration of children with disabilities playing outside of a prre-school in Malawi.
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    Where we work