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Our work in Tanzania

Sightsavers has been working in Tanzania since the 1970s to protect sight and prevent blinding diseases. In 2019, we helped to carry out 10,000 sight-saving operations in the country.

Asha runs down the road outside her home in Zanzibar days after a successful bilateral cataract operation.

In Tanzania, many people live in poorer or more remote areas and access to healthcare can be difficult.

All five of the most common neglected tropical diseases are present here: trachoma, river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis (known as ‘snail fever’), and soil-transmitted helminths (aka worms).

Sightsavers has been working in the country since the 1970s, helping to support and strengthen local eye care systems to tackle preventable blindness. We provide specialist training for health workers, increase public awareness of eye care and lobby the government to ensure eye care is universally available.

Our programmes in Tanzania mainly focus on preventing and treating trachoma, and providing cataract operations for those who need them. We also work to promote equal opportunities for people with disabilities.

At a glance

Total population
  • 55.5 million

  • What we focus on
  • Trachoma
  • Cataracts

  • Key programmes
  • Cataract surgery
  • Tropical Data Project
  • SAFE: trachoma control
  • Voices of the Marginalised

  • We really appreciate all supporters who are contributing to Sightsavers. We can see the impact of what they’re doing.
    Dr Nyaluke, ophthalmologist in Tanzania
    Dr Paul Nyaluke.

    How we’re making a difference in Tanzania

    Bakir Rashid, 2, smiles as he walks with his father on a family outing to the beach days after a successful bilateral cataract operation.

    Treating cataracts

    Two-year-old Bakir was born with cataracts that severely affected his sight. But a straightforward operation restored his vision and his hope.
    Read Bakir’s story

    Fatuma sits quietly on a chair outside her home. Her eyes look sore and swollen.

    Fighting trachoma

    After having an operation to treat trachoma, Fatuma learned about the importance of washing her face to prevent the disease reoccuring.
    Read about trachoma prevention

    Sightsavers employee Sarah sitting on a boat with 12 other people.

    Reaching everyone

    Sightsavers’ Sarah Filbey visited an island near Zanzibar to find out how we’re helping to restore sight in remote, far-flung communities.
    Read about Sarah’s trip

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    More from Tanzania

    Fatuma from Tanzania laughing
    Sightsavers Reports

    Fatuma's story

    Fatuma is a grandmother from Ruangwa, Tanzania suffering with advanced trachoma. We follow her journey from near-blindness to the chance to see once again.

    A young man using a wheelchair on a road in Kenya.
    Sightsavers blog

    COVID-19: Africa’s economic recovery must leave no one behind

    Many people with disabilities work in the informal sector. Unless they can leave their house every day, they struggle to meet their basic needs. For them, the situation is dire.

    Edwinah Orowe, June 2020
    A man smiling while sat on a motorbike.
    Sightsavers Reports

    Celebrating our health workers on World Health Day

    As we thank all our health workers on World Health Day, meet six who have worked with Sightsavers to help improve eye care for people in their communities.

    A woman with a bandaged eye and a girl smiling
    sightsavers_news

    Sightsavers launches eye health programme in Tanzania

    Sightsavers is launching a three-year programme to provide quality eye care to rural populations in the Morogoro and Singida regions.

    October 2019
    Sarita Choure at the judo championships.
    Sightsavers from the field

    September updates: highlights from around the world

    News from India, featuring a Sightsavers-supported judoka who won a bronze medal at a Commonwealth competition. Plus the latest from Kenya, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Zambia.

    September 2019
    A close up photograph of someone's hand running over a sheet of braille.
    sightsavers_news

    Tanzania joins the push to make accessible books more widely available

    It has become the latest country to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty, which allows exceptions to standard copyright laws so books can be reproduced in braille and other accessible formats.

    September 2019
    An eye health team on motorbikes travel across a dusty remote landscape dotted with trees and huts.
    Sightsavers from the field

    Reaching Ruangwa: an epic journey to help save sight

    Sightsavers’ Jo Howard travels across rural Tanzania with an eye health team to see how far they must go to treat trachoma in the most remote communities.

    March 2019
    Aluna holds Bibie outside their house in Tanzania.

    Spring appeal

    Forgotten, isolated and devastated by blinding trachoma. Will you help save the sight of a family like Bibie’s?

    Old black and white photo showing a group of young men on a mountain slope.
    sightsavers_news

    Sightsavers marks 50th anniversary of Mount Kilimanjaro expedition

    On 20 February 1969, Sightsavers supported men with visual impairments on an expedition to raise awareness about blindness.

    February 2019

    We save sight in 30 countries worldwide

    Where we work