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.

Teacher at the front of a classroom teaching sign language to children seated at desks

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.

Sightsavers’ focus in Uganda is to promote social inclusion and tackle neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). In 2019, we supported more than 3,000 surgeries for advanced trachoma.

At a glance

Total population
  • 44.2 million

  • What we focus on
  • Cataracts
  • Disability rights

  • Key programmes
  • Cataract surgery
  • Connecting the Dots

  • Previous programmes
  • Reducing river blindness
  • The Trachoma Initiative
  • 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

    Four men stand around a car.

    Challenging stereotypes

    "If they are given the chance of working they can do something good – they surprise you."

    Isaac, business owner
    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

    Edith with Atugonza, one of the graduates of the Connecting the Dots programme.
    Sightsavers blog

    Why tackling disability discrimination is key to employment projects

    As part of our Connecting the Dots project in Uganda, we tested a new way of boosting employment rates by influencing communities, families and businesses to act more positively toward people with disabilities.

    Edith Kagoya, June 2021
    Children in a line.
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    How one project touched 34 million lives

    As the 17-year-long Seeing is Believing project comes to an end, Imran Khan goes behind the scenes to reveal why it has made such an impact.

    December 2020
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    Sightsavers from the field

    The businesses embracing disability inclusion

    Meet the teams that Sightsavers partners with around the world to help them foster more disability inclusive workplaces.

    November 2020
    Teach Hassanatu helps pupils in the classroom.

    FCDO publishes progress report on disability inclusion

    The report highlights the progress made since the strategy was published and shows the key lessons that have been learnt during that time.

    November 2020
    A group of women hold hands in a large circle.

    Sightsavers' Equal World campaign wins Third Sector award

    Sightsavers' innovative campaign app allowed staff in programme countries to collect petition signatures from people living in areas without internet coverage.

    October 2020
    Isaac sits outside his mechanics.
    Sightsavers from the field

    The business owner training young people with disabilities

    Isaac Bolingo is training young people with disabilities to be mechanics in his garage.

    September 2020

    We save sight in 30 countries worldwide

    Where we work