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Tanzania

Sightsavers has been working in Tanzania since the 1970s to protect sight and prevent blinding diseases. In 2017, we helped to carry out 9,000 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

    Your donation could help to protect sight

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    Restoring sight on a remote island

    Sightsavers’ Sarah Filbey visits a training session for primary school teachers in Zanzibar, as they learn how to support students with visual impairments.

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    Saidi points at an image in a book with his father.
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    Saidi’s story

    Saidi’s cataracts were stopping him from going to school. Donate today and you could help more children like Saidi get an education.

    Asha plays in a tree outside her home with another child from her village.
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    Asha’s story

    Asha was bullied by other children because of her cataracts. But a straightforward operation restored her sight, her confidence and her hope for the future.

    We save sight in 30 countries worldwide

    Where we work