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Our work in Mali

In Mali we focus on fighting and preventing diseases such as river blindness, and treating eye conditions such as cataracts.

Mariam stands next to a bookcase smiling

Debilitating diseases such as river blindness are a major public health problem in Mali.

It’s thought that five million people need medication to protect them against river blindness.

Sightsavers has been working in Mali since 1991, and is fighting these diseases by distributing medication that can prevent them spreading.

We’re also working to reduce blindness in Mali by training eye specialists and health workers, and recruiting community volunteers to distribute medication. We educate communities about good hygiene, carry out surgery for patients suffering from cataracts and trachoma, and screen people for refractive error.

Sightsavers’ social inclusion work in Mali aims to empower who are visually impaired, enabling them to participate in their community. We provide support to help children with visual impairments to go to school, offer eye health consultations and monitor the progress of each child that is enrolled.

At a glance

Total population
  • 19.1 million

  • What we focus on
  • River blindness
  • Trachoma
  • Cataracts

  • Key programmes
  • Cataract surgery

  • Previous programmes
  • Reducing river blindness

  • The day they removed the bandages from my eyes after surgery, I felt so happy because it was like a new life for me.
    Mariam, cataract patient from Mali
    Mariam.

    How we're making a difference in Mali

    Many braille boards on a table.

    Inclusive education

    As part of our inclusive education project, we’ve worked with a linguistic expert to translate braille into the local language, meaning children with visual impairments can learn.
    Read the story

    Sayon sitting outside, a family member a young girl sit behind her.

    Restoring vision

    Sayon suffered so badly with trachoma, she resorted to plucking out her eyelashes. After a straightforward operation, she is now free from this painful disease.
    Read Sayon’s story

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