DONATE

The Gambia

Our work in The Gambia focuses on eliminating trachoma, an infectious disease that can cause immense pain and blindness.

Juledh outside her home with her brother, Jadeh Ceesay and sister Mariam.

Sightsavers works with The Gambia’s ministry of health and social welfare to control and eliminate trachoma.

We treat people with advanced stages of the disease, often through surgery, and monitor active cases of trachoma across the country.  The project distributes antibiotics to protect against the disease.

Sightsavers also aims to increase the number of people trained to diagnose and treat refractive error.  We have provided spectacles for those who need them, and helped to set up a new vision centre in the country, which we publicised through radio shows, billboards and posters.

In previous years we’ve also helped to diagnose and treat cataracts in The Gambia, providing sight-saving surgery to restore people’s vision.

At a glance

Total population
  • 2 million

  • What we focus on
  • Refractive error
  • Trachoma

    Key programmes
  • A billion NTD treatments

  • I’m very happy that the operation has been a success. Now I’ll be able to pound the rice and look after the children.
    Juledh, cataract patient in The Gambia
    A lady wearing dark glasses smiles.
    A male trachoma patient sitting outside, smiling.

    How we’re making a difference

    Yaya caught trachoma four years ago. As his sight deteriorated, he suffered constant pain and was unable to fulfil his duties as head of the village. But thanks to a straightforward operation, the pain is gone and he is once again leading his community.

    Read Yaya’s story

    Your donation could help to protect sight

    DONATE

    More from western Africa

    Two medical staff clean eyes of men in traditional african dress.
    Sightsavers from the field

    November updates: highlights from around the world

    News about a programme that has distributed more than 137,000 pairs of glasses across eight countries. Plus updates from Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Mozambique and more.

    Embessal, a teacher, standing in front of a blackboard in a classroom.
    Sightsavers Reports

    Embessal’s story

    Embessal Moreira, head teacher at a school in northern Guinea-Bissau, has been trained to distribute medication that treats and protects children against intestinal worms.

    Headshot of Aruna, a boy who had schisto.
    Sightsavers Reports

    Aruna’s story

    Despite knowing how important it is to go to school, 12-year-old Aruna struggled to keep up his attendance after catching schistosomiasis, which can cause severe abdominal pain.

    A group of patients in Kenya smile and laugh following their cataract surgery.
    Sightsavers from the field

    October updates: highlights from around the world

    In October, celebrations took place in many of Sightsavers' programme countries to mark World Sight Day. Plus news from Kenya, Mozambique and more.

    Felix in a white coat sitting behind some ophthalmology equipment.
    Sightsavers from the field

    September highlights: updates from around the world

    News from Zambia, where Sightsavers helped Felix to gain his ophthalmology diploma. Plus news from Guinea, Togo and more.

    A girl having her eye sight tested.
    Sightsavers Reports

    Sierra Leone Eye Care Programme

    More than 90 per cent of all blindness in Sierra Leone is also avoidable, significantly higher than the global average. This project aims to help reduce avoidable blindness and vision impairment.

    Anwar, who has a prosthetic leg, running alongside other people with disabilities.
    Sightsavers from the field

    June highlights: updates from around the world

    A round-up of the latest work that your donations help to support. Featuring news from India, Kenya, Senegal, Uganda and Nigeria.

    Students from Gbendembu School in Sierra Leone.
    Sightsavers from the field

    “We’ve learned to treat all children equally”

    Sightsavers' Kate McCoy travelled to northern Sierra Leone to visit a school where teachers are being specially trained to support children with disabilities.

    A male trachoma patient sitting outside, smiling.
    Sightsavers Reports

    Yaya’s story

    When Gambian community leader Yaya caught trachoma, he was forced to stop working. After a successful operation, people are happy to have him back.

    We save sight in 30 countries worldwide

    Where we work