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Our work in Uganda

Sightsavers’ focus in Uganda is to promote social inclusion and tackle neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). We help to distribute NTD treatments in the country and carry out 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).

At a glance

Total population
  • 44.2 million

  • What we focus on
  • Cataracts
  • Disability rights

  • Key programmes
  • Cataract surgery
  • Connecting the Dots

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

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    “My name is Dr Gladys Atto. I wanted to be a doctor since I was a child, and I am very proud to be an ophthalmologist and have an impact on people’s lives.”

    Illustration of student ophthalmologist Dr Hawa Megembe, sitting in a chair with flowers and a framed picture behind her.
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    A day in the life: “It’s a blessing to have the power to change someone’s life”

    Dr Hawa Naiga Magembe is studying ophthalmology in Uganda with the help of a scholarship provided by Sightsavers’ inclusive eye health programme.

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    World NTD Day: highlights from around the world

    On 30 January 2022, Sightsavers staff and supporters joined the global event to raise awareness about eliminating neglected tropical diseases.

    February 2022
    A large group of people hold a banner that celebrates the launch of the first cross-border mass drug administration for trachoma.
    sightsavers_news

    First cross-border treatments for trachoma are distributed in Kenya and Uganda

    On 21 October 2021, teams in key districts on both sides of the Kenyan-Ugandan border began a mass drug distribution campaign to fight the disease.

    November 2021
    Edith with Atugonza, one of the graduates of the Connecting the Dots programme.
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    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
    A group of Indian women wearing colourful headscarves smile and laugh.
    Sightsavers from the field

    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

    We save sight in 30 countries worldwide

    Where we work