By Chioma Obinna
On this year’s International Albinism Awareness Day, the society has been urged to change their perception about people living with albinism as they can equally use their skills for the betterment of the nation.
Also, governments have been urged to subsidise skincare treatments for albinos in public-owned institutions by providing free skincare products among others, that would help protect their skin from damage.
At an event to celebrate the Day in Lagos, a Co-Founder of Onome Akinlolu Majaro Foundation, OAM, Mr. Akinlolu Majaro, who urged Nigerians to celebrate albinos instead of discriminating against them, said: “Albinos have souls like every normal person, the only thing different about them is skin pigment due to the absence of melanin from the body.
“Albinism is not a disease and albinos are not disabled. As persons living with albinism they can equally use their skills for society when the platform is given. As a society, we should treat them well, the society must accept albinos. Our attitude towards them should be loving, embrace them and change our perception about them,”
Majaro who challenged albinos not to wallow in self-pity encouraged individuals living with albinism to develop their personal skills.
Lamenting that people living with albinism have been socially and medically neglected, he called for proper medical treatment and establishment of centres for the management of their skin challenges.
“Also, the society should provide adequate sun protection for albinos especially children who are at high risk because the age group tends to spend more time outdoors. They are vulnerable due to the fact that they lack melanin.”
Still on the role of government, he said: “What I expect from government is to collaborate with self –funded organisations like the OAM Foundation that has been consistent in the campaign and advocating for a better treatment and welfare for vulnerable group of persons living with albinism using personal funds. Children in rural areas living with albinism need protection strategies. The government needs to aid the campaign by partnering with us. The challenge here is poor vision and skin deficiency that affect them which can be addressed when they use skincare products.”
He condemned the killing of albinos for ritual purposes, calling on the public to rise up against the killings in other parts of Africa and myths associated with albinism.
In his presentation on Career Prospect/Developing the Good Resume, Human Resource Personnel of Forte Oil, Mr. Paschal Ejechukwu noted that albinos are smarter and more intelligent people compared to human beings that have melanin in their body.
Ejechukwu said as someone that recruits people for employment he is speaking from experience that albinos spend more time to acquire and develop themselves because of the way society view them.