Sightsavers in Nigeria

We work with governments, local organisations and communities in Nigeria and countries across Africa to deliver vital charity work and make sure everyone has the chance to thrive.

Nigeria is the most populated nation in Africa, home to more than 230 million people who live in 36 states.

The country has a booming economy with emerging manufacturing and financial sectors. Yet one in four people in Nigeria live in poverty, with many facing high levels of ill health and social inequality.

Access to health care is improving in urban areas, although the public health system still lacks funding and resources. Those who can’t afford private medical care are often unable to access basic treatments.

To boost literacy rates and move away from low-paid agricultural work, more people are being supported to go to school, particularly girls and children with disabilities. This inclusive approach to education will ensure people are able to support themselves.

Sightsavers has worked in Nigeria for 70 years. We are registered locally as Sightsavers Nigeria Foundation.

Facts about Nigeria

  • Population: 230 million
  • Capital: Abuja
  • Official language: English
  • Human development index (HDI) ranking: 163 (low)

An estimated 24 million people in Nigeria have sight loss

29 million people are thought to have a disability

168 million people are believed to need treatment for NTDs


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A group of women in Nigeria collect water in basins from a muddy river. They're surrounded by lush greenery.

What are the challenges in Nigeria, and how can these be addressed?

A group of women in Nigeria collect water in basins from a muddy river. They're surrounded by lush greenery.

Eye care

The Nigeria national blindness and visual impairment survey estimates that 4.2% of people over 40 are blind.

Many people in Nigeria are unable to access basic eye care, leaving them at an increased risk of visual impairment and disability. Sightsavers’ charity work in the country is helping to develop a comprehensive and sustainable eye health system that can deliver high-quality, affordable services.

A group of surgeons in a hospital setting performing an operation.

Our eye care work in Nigeria

Free eye screening

Regular screening can check people for eye conditions and refer them for treatment where needed.
How our Keep Sight programme in Nigeria is tackling glaucoma

Training staff

We support local health authorities to recruit and retain eye care workers, helping to fill staffing gaps and ensure people can be treated more quickly.
Learn about eye health roles


To tell us where our support is needed, we collect data using RAAB surveys. Our COUNTDOWN programme has also provided valuable data.

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Infectious diseases

Nigeria carries 25% of the burden of neglected tropical diseases in Africa.

Infectious diseases that can cause permanent blindness and long-term disability pose a high risk to people here. Our work on neglected tropical diseases in the country focuses on trachoma, river blindness and intestinal worms.

A man measures a child with a dose pole before giving them medication.

How we’re tackling disease in Nigeria

Hygiene and sanitation

Sightsavers runs water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) initiatives in local communities to help control the spread of infectious diseases.
Learn about WASH

Training volunteers

We train local volunteers to distribute medication in their communities, check people for eye disease and refer them for treatment where needed.
Meet volunteer Aishatu

Working in partnership

By working with partners, we're able to pool our expertise and ensure more people are protected and treated.
Our work with GiveWell to fund deworming in Nigeria

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Inclusion and equality

Not all people in Nigeria can claim their human rights.

People with disabilities and women and girls face stigma and discrimination in society. Our charity work on disability rights in Nigeria focuses on improving everyone’s access to health care, education and employment.

A student wearing a white headscarf writes on a piece of paper in the classroom.

Our inclusion work in Nigeria

Inclusive education

Sightsavers works with local governments to make schools more inclusive for students with disabilities.
How our projects are transforming education in Nigeria

Economic empowerment

Our Inclusive Futures initiative brings together partners and businesses to offer training and paid internships for people with disabilities.
About Inclusive Futures

Reproductive health

We promote inclusive sexual and reproductive health so everyone, particularly women with disabilities, can make informed decisions.
Our work on reproductive health

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Fatima smiles broadly. She's wearing a pink headscarf.

“I’m happy my siblings have access to eye care, because it gives them the chance to live a life just like other people.”

Fatima smiles broadly. She's wearing a pink headscarf.
Fatima, from Zaria city. Read her story

How you can help

Our charity work in Nigeria reaches almost two thirds of the population, but there’s still more we need to do.

With your support, we want to strengthen the health system, protect people from disease and create a ripple effect in Nigeria, so everyone can learn, earn and thrive. 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 programmes in Nigeria. 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 Nigeria, would like more information about our programmes or wish to discuss ways you can donate or support us, email [email protected]

Latest stories from Nigeria

A large party with lots of people dancing, wearing colourful yellow clothes.

Sightsavers Nigeria marks 70-year anniversary

Representatives from Sightsavers, the national and state governments and the global health community joined an event on 20 November in Abuja to celebrate Sightsavers’ achievements in the country.

November 2023
Gillian Mackay and Liesbeth Roolvink.
Sightsavers blog

On data and disability: piloting the Child Functioning Module in Nigerian schools

Sightsavers’ Liesbeth Roolvink and Gillian Mackay share learnings from the SMILE project in Nigeria, where a new questionnaire is being used in schools to assess children’s educational needs.

Sightsavers, February 2023
A teacher in Nigeria outs her arm on a student's shoulders as they stand at the blackboard.
Sightsavers stories

Transforming education for every child in Kenya and Nigeria

In Nigeria and Kenya, two innovative education projects are enabling children with disabilities to reach their potential.

A group of girls and boys hold up medals after taking part in a football match.

Spectrum Markets helps children in Nigeria get sporty for World Children’s Day

Students in Nigeria celebrated by taking part in a football match using sports equipment donated by one of Sightsavers’ corporate partners.

November 2022
A young boy sits at a desk in a classroom, writing in an exercise book. A teacher stands next to him offering guidance.
Sightsavers blog

Transforming education: how we’re doing our homework too

Sightsavers’ Liesbeth Roolvink shares the work we’re doing in programme countries to help transform education systems so that all children can go to school.

Liesbeth Roolvink, October 2022
Asmau and Fatima, both wearing coloured headscarves, smile and embrace at their home in Nigeria.
Sightsavers stories

“Thank God for giving us a mother who loves us so much”

In Nigeria, one community is home to a family in which nearly every member has experienced visual impairment. Amina and six of her seven children have had eye surgery to treat cataracts, ensuring they all have the chance to thrive.

Discover where Sightsavers works in Africa and Asia

Where we work