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South Sudan

River blindness continues to affect many people in Republic of South Sudan. Our work focuses on distributing medication to prevent the spread of this blinding disease.

Photo of Nyakaka Yaul Nyuon, 50, who had cataract surgery on her right eye, looks at her twin sister Julius Yaul, and niece Nyakong in Nasir, Upper Nile, South Sudan,

Sightsavers started working in South Sudan in 2009 and established a country office in the capital, Juba, in January 2012.

Several neglected tropical diseases are present in the country: more than 7.3 million people require medicine to protect them against river blindness, and trachoma is thought to be a problem in 32 districts.

We are helping the country’s ministry of health to distribute medication that eliminates infection and stops river blindness from spreading. In 2017, we distributed almost 500,000 treatments for the disease and trained 4,100 local volunteers, who are based within communities and deliver medication to people in remote and hard-to-reach areas.

As part of a push to improve local healthcare, we also train eye health workers, surgeons and doctors, and have helped to renovate an eye unit at Malakal Teaching Hospital in the north of the country.

At a glance

Total population
  • 12.2 million

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

  • Key programmes
  • SAFE: trachoma control
  • A billion NTD treatments

  • I'm happy that when I have my final surgery I will begin farming again.
    Nyatey Ruey, trachoma patient
    A women smiling after surgery on her eyelid.

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