Our work in Senegal

Sightsavers has been working in Senegal since 2001 to prevent avoidable blindness and make sure eye care services are available for everyone who needs them.

Ndeye's mother embraces her as they sit in their family home

In Senegal, it’s thought that one in 100 people are blind, and many more are visually impaired.

Sightsavers’ work in the country aims to ensure eye health services are available to all, particularly those who are marginalised or vulnerable. We provided vision tests and deworming treatment in 31 schools as part of the School Health Integrated Programming project: in 2019 we screened more than 18,000 children for vision problems.

We’re also working to eliminate trachoma, a neglected tropical disease, which is a major public health problem in Senegal: about 25,000 people in the country are blind because of the disease.

Alongside eye health programmes, Sightsavers empowers people with disabilities so they can go to school, get a job and support themselves. In 2022, we helped 281 children with visual impairments and other disabilities in Senegal to go to school. We also helped to train teachers about inclusion, and are working in four regions to encourage people with disabilities to vote in local elections and take part in community decision-making.

Watch a video of our Senegal country director Salimata Bocoum speaking about our successful inclusive education project in the country.

At a glance

Total population
  • 16.2 million

  • What we focus on
  • Cataracts
  • Trachoma
  • Disability rights

  • Key programmes
  • Cataract surgery
  • Tropical Data Project
  • Accelerate
  • Inclusive education in Senegal

  • Previous programmes
  • SHIP: health in schools
  • Babacar performs surgery wearing protective equipment on a trachoma patient.

    How we’re making a difference in Senegal

    The COVID-19 pandemic meant pausing much of our trachoma work. However thanks to hard-working surgeons like Babacar, patients have been able to get the care they need.

    Read Babacar's story

    Your donation could help to protect sight


    More from Senegal

    During a press interview in Senegal, a man faces a video camera while speaking into a microphone. Three fellow event attendees are standing behind him.

    Senegal launches action plan to collect high-quality inclusive data

    The initiative outlines the steps needed to ensure that people with disabilities are represented in official data, which will inform the government’s planning and monitoring.

    December 2022
    A woman sits talking on a mobile phone.

    Sightsavers wins Zero Project award for work on political participation

    The prize was awarded for our inclusion project which promotes the rights of people with disabilities to participate in civic and political life in Cameroon and Senegal.

    December 2022
    A woman with crutches walks into a building.
    Sightsavers Reports

    We are… promoting inclusive elections

    We’re working with partners in Cameroon and Senegal to ensure people with disabilities are able to take part in every stage of the political process.

    A boy with crutches sits with his friends in the playground during lunch break at school in Senegal.
    Sightsavers Reports

    In Senegal, we’re ensuring all children are able to go to school

    Every child deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential. Your donations are helping to train teachers so they can welcome children with visual impairments and other disabilities into the classroom.

    A large group of people stand on the main stage at the World Water Forum.
    Sightsavers blog

    Collaboration is key: lessons from the World Water Forum

    Sightsavers’ Salimata Bocoum shares learnings, actions and reflections from the World Water Forum, where the importance of working together to fight neglected tropical diseases was a key theme.

    Salimata Bocoum, April 2022
    A girl smiles as she has her eyes tested.
    Sightsavers from the field

    May 2021 update: highlights from around the world

    In Pakistan, teachers have given insights into their experiences of vision screening in schools. Plus updates from Senegal, Mozambique and Nigeria.

    May 2021

    We save sight in 30 countries worldwide

    Where we work