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Albino Foundation appeals to FG for assistance in payment of M120m sunscreen cream


Abuja  –  The Albino Foundation has appealed to the Federal Government to assist in the payment of the N120 million sunscreen cream acquired on credit to reduce the rate of skin cancer among albinos.

The Founder, Jake Epelle made the appeal at a pre-press conference on International Albinism awareness day celebration tagged; Addressing HealthI in Albinism: the Need for Stakeholders’ Intervention’’ in Abuja on Friday.

According to him, the sunscreen cream which is about 300,000 pieces 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.

“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,’’ Epelle said.

He said with free skin cancer treatment at National Hospital Abuja still on hold, it become 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,’’ Epelle said.

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.

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 with albinism and the albinism community has become a concern for government, international communities, international development organisations, the media and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

“This is as a result of the widespread discrimination, stigmatisation, dehumanisation and killing of persons with Albinism around the world, especially in Africa,’’ he said.

Epelle said it was in view of the killings that the UN at its General Assembly on Dec 18, 2014 declared June 13 of every year as International Albinism awareness day. (NAN)

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