By Faith Kadzanja:
Association of Persons with albinism in Malawi (Apam) has said there is need for a trust programme that will focus on issues of albinism in the country.
A member of the board of trustees for Apam, Grace Massa observed during a press conference in Lilongwe that, just as is the case with National AIDS Commission (Nac) and other programmes like the National TB Programme (NTP), albinism should also be considered a trust programme.
She also said considering that there are over 130 000 people with albinism in the country, Albinism should have its own vote in the Malawi National Budget.
“We, at Apam, are very much interested in the way forward. We therefore would like to reiterate that just is the case with National AIDS Commission and other programmes like the National TB Control Programme, albinism should also be considered as a trust programme,” she said.
She further said the primary responsibility to promote and protect the rights of persons with albinism falls on the government.
According to Massa, there is also need to speed up investigations and cases regarding abductions and killings of people with albinism.
“The case of Buleya Lule and Ibra Pilo cannot be forgotten. Justice should not only be seen to be done, but it should actually be done,” she said.
Apam has further called on the government to release K250 million meant for implementation of activities for two months period spanning May to June, 2019.
Reacting on the issue of funding, Chief Disability Awareness and Equalisation Officer in the department of disability and elderly affairs Julian Mabangwe said some stakeholders involved including the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) and Malawi police have already received funding of the National Action Plan.
“Maybe it might be because of communication breakdown otherwise the funds are readily available. Government has released money as the National Action Plan has different stakeholders; some of the partners have already received the funding. Stakeholders including Apam were supposed to send their requirements,” she said.
International Albinism Awareness Day falls on June 13 yearly. The day in Malawi will be commemorated on June 27.
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