Nigeria Marks International Albinism Awareness Day

Jake Epelle urges government to formulate policies that will protect people living with albinism

Nigeria today joins the world in commemorating the International Albinism Awareness Day to create awareness about the human rights of people living with albinism (PWA). Albinism is a genetic disorder characterized by lack of skin pigmentation.

The United Nations at her General Assembly on 18th December 2014 had declared June 13 of every year International Albinism Awareness Day

Today thus offers Nigerians and others around the world an opportunity to dispel the many myths surrounding people living with albinism and address sundry issues affecting them such as social discrimination, stigmatization, dehumanization, and even killing, among others.

The Albino Foundation (TAF) founded by Jake Epelle has organised a symposium to further educate and enlighten people about albinism.  Some of the topics discussed include Non-Clinical Strategies and Assistive Visual Devices for Management of Low Vision in Albinism; Skin Cancer: Signs, Impact and Prevention; Self-Discovery and Personal Development for Auto-Transcendence as a PWA; Innovative Strategies for Empowering the Vulnerable Group; and Intervention Strategies for Stakeholders for Addressing Health Issues in Albinism; among others. In addition to the symposium, free eye screening was also offered to people living with albinism to help improve their vision.

Epelle had earlier at a media forum urged the Federal Government to resume free treatment of skin cancer for people living with albinism not just in the National Hospital in Abuja but also in every other designated hospital across the country to halt the rising cases deaths of PWAs.

He also urged for policies and legislation, which ensures total mainstreaming of Albinism.

Epelle advocated for ‎the reduction and mitigation of health related problems associated with Albinism such as sunburn, skin cancer and low vision.

Confirming the availability of a sun screen cream in Nigeria Epelle said, “I am also using this opportunity to let the government and the generality of Nigerians know that the Sun Screen with The Albino Foundation logo that was manufactured in Germany has arrived Nigeria.”

“This cream is important because it will help prevent skin cancer. Even when you are exposed to the sun, it will prevent the sun from damaging your skin. This is an antidote to skin cancer when regularly used,” he said.

Skin cancers are a major risk associated with albinism and are thought to be a major cause of death among people living with albinism. ‎‎

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