Sightsavers in Yemen

We’re working with the Yemen government and our partners to distribute medication to protect people from trachoma.

The Republic of Yemen is a small country on the southwestern tip of the Arabian Peninsula.

While Yemen’s constitution promises high-quality health care for all its citizens, years of civil war have ravaged the country’s infrastructure and resources, leaving nearly half of its health facilities out of service.

It’s thought that up to 2.8 million people in Yemen are at risk of catching trachoma, a blinding eye disease.

In 2018, with the help of Sightsavers’ partners, we started work in the country to distribute antibiotics to protect people from trachoma. A team of more than 4,000 volunteers was trained to go door to door in 273 villages to give out the medication. Volunteers also distributed wash kits containing soap, and gave hygiene advice to help prevent the spread of the disease.

We’re continuing to distribute medication to prevent trachoma and are assessing the impact of this work, with the aim of eliminating the disease in the areas in which we work.

Facts about Yemen

  • Population: 31 million
  • Capital: Sanaa
  • Official language: Arabic
  • Human development index (HDI) ranking: 183 (low)
A child receives medicine in Yemen.

More than 444,000 doses of antibiotics were given out in Yemen during the first week-long distribution programme in 2018.

A child receives medicine in Yemen.

How you can help

Our charity work in Yemen is helping to protect people from blinding trachoma, but there’s still more we need to do to reach everyone.

With your support, we want to expand our treatment campaigns to other areas in Yemen where children and adults are at a high risk of trachoma, which can cause pain and permanent blindness if left untreated. To do this, we need your help.

Charity donations, legacies, corporate partnerships and gifts from charitable foundations are a vital source of funding for our work in Yemen. We also welcome opportunities to work in partnership with governments, institutions and development organisations.

Contact us: If you have any questions about our work in Yemen, would like more information about our programmes or wish to discuss ways you can donate or support us, email [email protected]

Latest stories from west Asia

Zahra has her eyes examined.
Sightsavers stories

Bringing eye health into the classroom

Zahra is one of the many children now thriving thanks to a Sightsavers programme to screen school students for eye conditions and health problems.

Sightsavers' CEO Caroline Harper poses for a group photo with staff from Sightsavers Bangladesh during its 50th anniversary celebrations in Dhaka.

Sightsavers Bangladesh marks 50-year anniversary

Sightsavers began working in Bangladesh in 1973 to diagnose and treat people for cataracts, which is one of the most common eye conditions in the country.

August 2023
An eye health worker in a clinic holds up an eye test chart for a patient who is having her eyes screened.

Sightsavers-supported vision centres launch in Chennai

The new centres in India aim to increase access to quality eye health services through an integrated and strengthened approach to urban health.

May 2023
A poster for the film Noor showing the three main actors. The text reads: Selected for best health film.

Sightsavers film shortlisted for Cannes World Film Festival award

Noor, a short film about the impact of childhood visual impairment, has been selected for the ‘Best health film’ category at the Cannes World Film Festival.

February 2023
Arif and his mother sit on a bed chatting.
Sightsavers stories

“Now I know what a gift sight is”

Arif’s life changed when he had two cataract operations at five years old. We've been following his journey since then, from completing his education to finding work as a driver.

Shamima and her child Toha in Bangladesh. There's an illustrated ring of small dots surrounding their faces.
Sightsavers stories

It started with a tuk-tuk: Shamima’s story

Shamima, who has hearing and speech impairments, was able to access vital treatment after her sister heard about Sightsavers’ free eye camps.

Discover where Sightsavers works in Africa and Asia

Where we work