Sightsavers promotes inclusive health because we believe that everyone, wherever they live, should be able to receive quality, affordable health care.

Shamima and her daughter Toha in Bangladesh.

Good health and wellbeing is a fundamental human right, allowing children to go to school and adults to earn a living. But more than 400 million people lack access to even basic health care services.

We want to make sure that effective, affordable, accessible health services are available for everyone, particularly women, people with disabilities, and other marginalised groups such as people with HIV or AIDS. We aim to empower people so they can make informed decisions and prioritise their health.

We work with partners, governments, the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN and many other organisations, and our work directly contributes to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to end poverty, protect the planet and ‘leave no one behind’ by 2030.

In December 2022, WHO published a global report on making health systems more inclusive and promoting health equity for people with disabilities. Sightsavers is working closely with WHO to roll out the report across different countries.

Watch the WHO video below to hear what people with disabilities have to say about access to health care.

Watch the video: people with disabilities share their experiences of accessing sexual and reproductive health services.

What we’re doing

We’ve devised a clear inclusion strategy
Our social inclusion strategy sets out our vision to ensure that all people with disabilities, and particularly women and girls, have improved access to health care and good health outcomes, contributing to the development of more inclusive health systems and the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC).

We’re promoting access to sexual and reproductive health and rights for all
People with disabilities, particularly women and girls, face barriers in accessing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, so we’re working to ensure everyone can make choices based on their consent and bodily autonomy. In West and Central Africa, we are consortium partners in the Women’s Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) programme, funded by UK aid.

We’re making sure everyone can be treated to prevent disease
We’re tackling neglected topical diseases, which affect a billion people worldwide.  But if we aren’t able to treat people who are most marginalised, these diseases will never be eliminated. So we’ve collaborated with other organisations to make sure we reach everyone, and our research ensures our projects don’t exclude people.

We’re ensuring our eye health projects reach everyone
We’re embedding disability inclusion in our eye health projects in more than 10 countries across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. We’re improving outreach services, making clinics more accessible, building capacity of health workers, increasing demand through inclusive communication, and promoting inclusion in eye care sector plans and decision-making forums.

Inclusive sexual health and rights programme in Nigeria.

Inclusive sexual health in Nigeria

As part of the Inclusive Futures programme, we're leading an innovative project in Nigeria that aims to ensure people with disabilities have better access to family planning services.

About the programme
The contents of the accessibility audit pack spread on a table, including the accessibility standards, checklist, a tape measure, pen and USB stick.

Improving accessibility

We've developed an accessibility audit pack that can be used to help develop national accessibility standards, assess existing health infrastructure and guide the development of new health facilities.

Accessibility audit pack

More about health

Three women discuss gender-based violence at a workshop in Uganda.
Sightsavers blog

Collaborating to improve gender-based violence services

Women and girls with disabilities face a higher risk of gender-based violence, yet they are often prevented from receiving support due to inaccessible services.

Lucy Muchiri, November 2023
Sightsavers blog

Improving contraceptive choices and bodily autonomy for women and girls with disabilities

There is compelling evidence that improving access to contraception can reduce mortality and high-risk pregnancies, improve child health and increase protection against sexually transmitted infections.

Cathy Stephen
Sightsavers blog

Inclusive, accessible social behaviour change: what it is and how to do it

Sightsavers’ Cathy Stephen shares what we've learned from embedding inclusive, accessible social behaviour change processes in some of our recent projects in East and West Africa.

Cathy Stephen, June 2023

We campaign for equality

Join our campaign