Contact Address Details:
International - The Gambia
Banjul area charity Head office
(Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind)
Kairaba Avenue, Fajara M Section
PO Box 950 Banjul
Kanifing Municipality, Ksmd
The Gambia, West Africa
Tel no: +220 4399177
4497049 / 3300322
They are behind the American Embassy Banjul; Sightsavers
charity headquarters is off the Kairaba Avenue in
Fajara, Kmc. The easiest way is to go behind the
Standard Bank on the Coastal Road and drive
east. Their building is located about 150 m to your
Grosvenor Hall, Bolnore Road
West Sussex RH16 4BX
Tel no: +44 01444 446600
(between 8am to 5pm)
P.O. Box 942
Tel no: +1 (800) 707 9746
International - The Gambia is a Banjul registered, charity
& non-governmental organisation which has been actively
working in the Gambia since the 1950s. The international NGO
works to fight against blindness in many of the poorest developing
countries around the world and helps restore sight through
expert treatment and eye care.
Sightsavers also helps people who are profoundly or totally
blind by making available life skills training, advice and
Globally, the charity has carried out over 270,000 sight-restoring
cataract operations, treated over 1 million people with antibiotics
for trachoma and protected 23 million people against river
blindness. The charity also carries out diagnosis and drug
treatment of other eye conditions such as angle glaucoma and
Together with their local Gambian partners, Sightsavers works
in urban locations, rural villages and up-river regions to
diagnose and treat eye diseases and conditions such as cataracts.
The organisation also campaigns for eye care awareness in
order to avoid preventable blindness in local communities.
The UK headquartered charity also advocates for the enrolment
of visually impaired and blind children into mainstream schools
by training teachers on the requirements of such special needs
pupils and providing necessary back-up resources.
Cataract is one of the leading causes of blindness in The
Gambia which affects the old and young. Sightsavers, in collaboration
with its local partners, goes into communities to spot individuals
with cataract, carry out surgery and provide subsequent care.
Paediatric cataract requires slightly more complicated surgery
but it's still a fast, and relatively cost effective procedure.
To prevent night blindness and measles Vitamin A is largely
distributed free of charge for children aged between 6 months
to 5 years.
Preventing Blindness & Eye Care
Due to the acute shortage of trained ophthalmologists in remote
rural village communities of The Gambia, and Africa in general,
an alternative strategy has been adopted. Since the 1980s
Sightsavers has been working with its local partners to train
staff at all levels to become eye care specialists such as
nurses, community volunteers, cataract surgeons and teachers.
There are also community based eye care workers called Nyatero
(literally means 'friend of the eye') who are responsible
for primary eye care, screening and referrals for about 250
people in their local area. The Nyatero also teaches local
people about the SAFE strategy - the regular washing of hands
and face and keeping the environment as clean as possible
to reduce infections.
To combat river blindness their partners train local community
volunteers to ascertain the correct dosage and provide a free
preventative medication supplied by Merck & Co. called
Mectizan which should be taken for a period of 15 to 25 years.
Village volunteers are also taught simple eye care regimes,
while health workers are provided with partner led training
in basic ophthalmology allowing them to diagnose and cure
common ophthalmology conditions, or refer patients on for
Sightsavers Charity Main Areas of
• Advocacy for the blind & visually impaired
• Community development projects
• Education for special needs children
• Prevention & cure
• Training of local staff working with blind people