The Albino Foundation has appealed to the Federal Government to assist them raise N120 Million to buy 300,000 pieces of sunscreen cream in order to combat skin cancer among albinos. Founder of the Albino Foundation, Jake Epelle made the appeal at a press conference on International Albinism awareness day celebration tagged; Addressing Health in Albinism: the Need for Stakeholders Intervention in Abuja on Friday.
According to him, the sunscreen cream will go a long way in reducing the high rate of albinos with skin cancer. He said albinos were susceptible to skin cancer because of their delicate skin type. He said:
“The sunscreen was got at a cheaper rate to alleviate the plight of albinos, we will be concentrating on children, students and the leftover of the sunscreen creams will be given to adults.
“Unprotected exposure to the sun increases the possibility of skin cancer and other skin diseases in persons with albinism.”
He also said that with free skin cancer treatment at National Hospital Abuja still on hold, it becomes important to explore other intervention strategies to stakeholders on how to resume treatment in other federal or stated owned hospitals.
“Paying the outstanding bill of about approximately N60 million accumulated as a result of free treatment of skin cancer for our members at the National Hospital Abuja is also a responsibility that we cannot shy away from.
“In the same light, proffering a sustainable solution to enhancing vision for people with Albinism is a major concern, hence we have invite one of the best optometry to be part of the celebration.”
He also identified education as another challenge faced by the foundation, adding that persons living with albinism in the country were either illiterate or poorly educated, because of low vision impairment.
He explained that this had led to discrimination and social exclusion as a result of their skin colour, adding that there was also the need to educate children living with albinism.
Jake Epelle also appealed to partners and well-meaning Nigerians to partner with the foundation in fighting the course of albinism in the country.
“The issues affecting persons living with albinism and the albinism community has become a concern for government, international communities, international development organizations, the media and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).
“This is as a result of the widespread discrimination, stigmatization, dehumanization and killing of persons with Albinism around the world, especially in Africa.”