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Our work in Uganda

Sightsavers’ focus in Uganda is to promote social inclusion and tackle neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). In 2018 we distributed 283,000 NTD treatments and helped to carry out 6,400 sight-saving operations.

A group of smiling schoolboys in Kasuleta, a small rural village in Uganda.

Sightsavers started working in Uganda in 1954.

Our first programmes in the country aimed to control river blindness, a debilitating neglected tropical disease, and to provide rehabilitation and support for people whose sight couldn’t be saved.

In 1994, we opened a dedicated office in Kampala, and the following year we began working to help blind and visually impaired children participate fully in mainstream schools. Since 2010, we have focused on improving local health systems, promoting social inclusion and tackling neglected tropical diseases.

Uganda is also home to our award-winning Connecting the Dots project, which has provided vocational training to young people with disabilities so they can find work and support themselves financially. The project has transformed attitudes to disability, and shows potential employers how hiring people with disabilities could benefit their business.

If we are all Ugandans, then we should all be treated equally. That is what I want to see change.
Edith Kagoya, Programme Manager
Edith smiles as she stands holding her young son.

How we’re making a difference in Uganda

Isaac works on the knitting machine alongside his tutor.

Challenging stereotypes

"Disability is not inability. It does not stop you from doing any work another person can perform."

Isaac, employment programme graduate. Read Isaac’s story

Arjuna Socia, 33 yrs stands inside the Kibwoona Health centre in Masindi, Uganda where she attended the Volunteer Distributor Training for Community Directed Distributors (CDD’s) like herself. She is smiling, holding a measuring stick.

Reaching local people

“I wanted to help people because they were dying – I want to save my community and give them medicine.”

Ajuna Socia, local volunteer
Read Ajuna’s story

William Mugayo speaks into the microphone during a radio broadcast.

Raising awareness

“Radio allows people to ask questions, and it spreads awareness among a bigger group of people.”

William Mugayo, district worker
Read the story

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More from Uganda

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 girl with deafblindness plays with her siblings.
Sightsavers from the field

“As a parent, to see your child happy, is as much as you can ask for.”

Sightsavers and Sense International supported 14-year-old Hellen and her family from Masindi, Uganda, by helping them communicate with each other and support themselves financially.

April 2020
A girl with deafblindness plays with her siblings.
Sightsavers blog

Supporting youth with deafblindness in Uganda

Alice Nabbanja from Sense International explains how the organisation has been working with Sightsavers in Uganda supporting young people with deafblindness and complex disabilities.

Sightsavers, April 2020
A close-up of Esther Anyango wearing her hospital scrubs.
Sightsavers Reports

Esther’s story

Esther Anyango, from Uganda, operates on people with blinding trachoma through The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust’s Trachoma Initiative.

Three young men standing with their arms around each other, smiling.
Sightsavers blog

Why I support Sightsavers' Equal World disability rights campaign

A lot of people with disabilities grow up not knowing that they have the same right to education and employment as everyone else – we need to change this. My message to other people with disabilities is: We Can.

Atugonza Milton, October 2019
Deus Turyatemba stands next to an Inclusive Futures poster
sightsavers_news

Groundbreaking new programme will enable 2,000 people with disabilities to get better jobs

The Inclusion Works programme, funded by UK aid and led by Sightsavers, will create job opportunities for more than 2,000 people with disabilities.

July 2019
Charles Ahumuza at work as an engineer.
Sightsavers Reports

Charles’s story

Charles Ahumuza, who is partially sighted, reveals how Sightsavers' inclusive employment programme in Uganda has helped him to fulfil his childhood dream of becoming an electrician.

Deus Turyatemba stood in his office
Sightsavers blog

How I’m building a career as a blind person in Uganda

Deus Turyatemba of Standard Chartered shares his story of career progression, and explains the bank’s partnership with Sightsavers’ Inclusion Works programme.

Guest Blogger, July 2019
Julianah from Kogi, Nigeria stands outside a field near her home in Ajenejo, Kogi State Nigeria.
Sightsavers blog

Putting people at the centre of our work to eliminate neglected tropical diseases

Sightsavers' river blindness and lymphatic filariasis programme has delivered 60 million treatments in four countries. Here’s what we’ve learned from the project.

Ron Bannerman, June 2019
A man has his eyes checked at a screening camp in Kasungu, Malawi
Sightsavers blog

Treating hard-to-reach people: what we’ve learned from CATCH

The Coordinated Approach to Community Health programme, which finished in March 2019, has restored the sight of more than 21,000 people and generated a wealth of knowledge.

Moses Chege, May 2019
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
Gladys Atoo in her Doctor's uniform, smiles at the camera
Sightsavers Reports

Gladys’s story

Gladys Atto is an everyday hero, saving sight and building long-term eye health services in Uganda. She’s one of the talented cataract surgeons whose training you’ve supported.

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