Association of People with Albinism (APAM) has revealed that it is engaging government to have sunscreen lotion manufactured locally to avoid skin cancer which is on the increase among persons with albinism in the country.
APAM president, Ian Simbota made the revelation during an albinism awareness meeting at Mangochi Town Council.
He said APAM is in talks with the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social welfare to have the plant in the country so as to reduce the number of people with albinism who die annually.
“Every year, people with albinism die because of cancer due to lack of skin oil and once we have the plant in the country, we will be able to get the oil easily and this will save lives,” Kondowe pointed out.
The President explained that currently the lotion is expensive because it is produced elsewhere such that many people with albinism can hardly access them.
“The oil is expensive to purchase from outside the country but once we have it locally made, it will save lives since it will be easily accessed and many people will be protected from cancer,” he added.
Kondowe commended government for providing people with albinism with the lotion which is currently available in all district hospitals across the country.
“Let me take this opportunity to thank government for hearing out our cry to have skin oil in the district hospital, but we are worried with hospitals which want to let us down by charging people who want to access screening which is contrary to government’s desire to offer free services,” he noted.
Mangochi Town Council Chairperson, Edina Yusuf urged communities in the district not to abuse people with albinism, saying people with albinism deserve the same life as everyone.
“Let us respect our friends with albinism since they are just like everyone else, let us stop thinking that they have gold that will make you rich they are also human beings and let us stop killing them but instead we should all protect them,” she said.
Traditional Authority (TA) Mponda thanked APAM for having the welfare of people with albinism at heart.
“Let me thank APAM for organising this awareness and for taking care of people with albinism in the district as this has made people to be aware of the rights of people with albinism in the district and we hope that this will continue so that we eliminate the barbaric act of killings and abductions,” he said.
The awareness brought together different Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Mangochi and it started with a big walk from Kips Restaurant to Mangochi Town Hall where the event was held.