The association of Persons with Albinism (Apam) has appealed for more support from different stakeholders in the fight against the challenges that persons with albinism are facing in the country.
Apam say, among others, the ‘misguided’ perception that some people have regarding persons with albinism can be eradicated if the truth about albinism is included in school curricula.
Recent reports indicate that 60 of more than 10,000 persons with albinism have been exposed to different attacks with 18 of them brutally murdered in the process.
According to Apam President, Overstone Kondowe, more interventions need to be undertaken which include awareness, health initiatives, home security and inclusion of albinism concepts in the country’s education curricula.
He said this in Lilongwe when Care Malawi presented a K2.5 million cheque to the association. The funds are expected to support the national and district trainings for Apam’s leadership.
“This support is very timely because we continue to experience a number of challenges. We have always needed partners in our interventions because there is need to raise awareness on misguided beliefs that our body tissues bring good luck.
“The beliefs cannot be dispelled without proper interventions on mindset change. Government and other stakeholders should consider including albinism issues in the school curricula so that people learn about the condition from early ages,” Kondowe said.
He added that this will also allow different people including would-be mothers to know how to take care of children with albinism if they give birth to them.
Kondowe said on its own, the association does not have the capacity to address all the problems which persons with albinism are facing.
He also appealed to government to ensure sunscreen lotion is included in the essential health package in the public health system to protect persons with albinism from skin cancer.
Care Malawi Country Director, Michael Rewald, said his organisation decided to support Apam in line with its mission of saving lives, defeating poverty and achieving social justice.
“What is happening to persons with albinism in Malawi is definitely an attack on their dignity. What is happening is related to social injustice and we thought it wise to play our part in protecting these persons.
“When these leaders get the required skills and information on different forms of interventions, they will be able to engage communities on the same. We know that persons with albinism are among the vulnerable groups in Malawi,” Rewald said.
According to Care Malawi, lack of awareness on the rights of persons with albinism is one of the challenges which has been recognised as a contributing factor to continued attacks of these people.
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