The Albino Foundation (TAF) has said no fewer than 27,000 persons living with albinism are affected with skin cancer in the country.
President of the foundation, Mr Jake Epelle, disclosed this, yesterday, in Abuja, when he briefed newsmen, to commemorate the 2017 National Albinism Day.
The event is scheduled for May 5, with the theme: “Albinism and skin cancer.’’
According to Epelle, over 99 per cent of persons with albinism are susceptible to skin cancer, hence, the need to create awareness on the challenges and how best to manage the condition.
“The National Albinism Day celebration is set aside by the Federal Government to create awareness on the challenges faced by persons with albinism.
“This year’s celebration aims at raising funds for the treatment of skin cancer across the country.
“Skin cancer remains the biggest challenge facing persons with albinism due to the vulnerable nature of their skin to sunlight especially in this part of the world,’’ he said.
Epelle identified poverty, ignorance, myths and misconception about albinism as factors hindering majority of persons with albinism from access to treatment.
He also noted that the need for advocacy and sensitisation cannot be over emphasised as the challenges that persons with albinism face were overwhelming.
He revealed that this year’s celebration would be powered by an eatery called Pie and Pancake to raise funds for the treatment of albinos with skin cancer. “To mark the day, there will be at least 3,000 free pancakes for all persons, while a token donation will be expected, no matter how little or big the donation might be.”
“At the end of the day, the money realised will be given to the foundation to support the treatment of our members with skin cancer,’’ Ekpelle said.
He called on Nigerians to be part of the celebration and support the foundation to alleviate the plight of persons with albinism.