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CBM is a member of World Blind Union
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Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)

Neglected Tropical Diseases disproportionately affect children, women and persons with disability, and flourish under conditions characterised by poor housing and sanitation, unsafe water, and limited access to basic health care.

NTDs present a largely hidden burden affecting the most marginalised and voiceless communities living in poverty and conflict zones. Negatively impacting on virtually all Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), NTDs hinder development, keeping individuals and communities trapped in a cycle of poverty.


Ayehu, who had Trachoma, with her daughter and granddaughter
Six million people have been blinded by the eye infection trachoma and a staggering 146 million are facing blindness if they do not have access to preventative medication.
Trachoma is an eye infection that strikes children and families who live in dusty regions and quickly spreads from person to person, attacking entire communities. It is easily transmitted when contact is made with eye, nose or throat discharges.

CBM follows the World Health Organisation SAFE Programme to stop the spread of Trachoma by equipping high-risk communities to take action against this preventable form of blindness at the family and community level.

SAFE represents the four key actions required to combat trachoma:
  • Surgery (When Trachoma advances, surgery is the only way to save someone's sight)
  • Antibiotics (Zithromax cures the infection at the early stages - just one dose a year for five years kills Trachoma and protects against re-infection for life)
  • Face Washing (Water is a precious resource so CBM eye care nurses teach children how to wash their faces and still save water.  Face and hand washing can stop the spread of Trachoma)
  • Environmental Improvement (Improving access for communities to clean water by digging fresh, water wells)
Ayehu and her daughter were suffering from Trachoma before CBM's outreach clinic came to their village.Read how CBM is working hard to end Trachoma in villages like Ayehu's. Trachoma prevention protects generation after generation.

River Blindness (Onchocerciasis)

River Blindness (Onchocerciasis) is caused by a parasite and can lead to irreversible blindness as well as dermatitis, skin atrophy and skin depigmentation. River Blindness is particulary prevalent in African countries like Burundi and Sudan, where communities regularly travel to the local rivers. It is here that the parasitic nematode worms are transmitted to humans through the bite of the Simulium (black) Fly.
These worms, which can live in the human body for around 15 years, then migrate to the eye where they cause irreparable damage to the cornea and optic nerve.
Some who suffer from River Blindness, even report being able to see the tiny parasites moving across their eye.

CBM supports the annual treatment with Ivermectin through community directed implementation approach. CBM is mainly active with partners in CAR, Nigeria, DRC, Southern Sudan and Burundi.


Clubfoot (or Congenital Talipes Equinovarus) affects 1 child in every 1,000 born around the world. 80% of these children live in poor countries where lack of access to adequate treatment means that the number of children growing up with clubfoot disability is higher than in countries where the impairment is treated at birth.

CBM programmes treat clubfoot with manipulation and casting (the Ponseti technique), and surgery.

Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate

What is Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate? Cleft lip and cleft palate are two conditions that occur during the facial development of a foetus. A young boy with cleft lip and palate before surgery.

If the condition is left untreated, babies can have difficulties breastfeeding and therefore will be at risk of lacking the vital nutrients they need for their development. This can lead to malnutrition and even death.

Surgery can successfully correct a cleft lip or palate, although it is best to operate when the child is young.


Osteomyelitis is a bacterial bone and joint infection that progressively destroys the bone and may also affect joints.
Osteomyelitis is more common in children because their bones are more vulnerable as they are not fully grown.
If not treated quickly, it will lead to the chronic stage with severe bone destruction.
We support programmes throughout the developing world, including in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, that detect and provide surgical treatment and rehabilitation for people with this bone infection.


50% of deafness is preventable!
The key to preventing the effects of hearing impairment is education, but so many deaf and hearing impaired children just don't get the chance to go to school. Through your donations, CBM has been able to provide specialised support enabling children who are deaf or hearing impaired, to participate in classroom activities and enjoy being part of their community.
Together we have supported so many deaf and hearing impaired children and adults and we can continue to do so with your help.


Historically, CBM has considerable special educational expertise. We are expanding and improving our work - with like-minded partner organisations - by promoting inclusive education in low and middle income countries worldwide.

CBM's vision is 'An inclusive world in which all people with disabilities can enjoy their human rights and achieve their full potential'. Disability is both a cause and consequence of poverty, and access to education can contribute to end this cycle.


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