Co-founder of Onome Akinlolu Majaro Foundation (OAM), Mr. Akinlolu Majaro, has identified lack of societal acceptance, medical challenge and relationship with other people as three major plights confronting albinos in Africa.
He told participants at a forum to celebrate the International Day of Albinism Awareness, in Lagos that, “The only difference between the albinos and other human being is the skin colour, so there should be no segregation.
He decried the discrimination against albinos when seeking employment opportunities, “Albinos are denied employment because of their skin colour. They are also jilted in relationships by their spouses.
“Segregation has left albinos traumatised wondering if they are really different from other human being. Albinos are better appreciated in Nigeria compared to other African countries.
“The welfare of albinos should be improved upon. Albinos are among the groups most discriminated against in the society.
“Hundreds of them have been brutally murdered and mutilated in African countries. The mere sight of an albino instills fear in some people because of the myths and misconceptions about them.
“We want everyone to celebrate albinos and understand that they have souls like us. It’s not a disease and they are not disabled. As persons living with albinism they can equally use their skills for society once the platform is given.
“The society has to embrace people living with albinism they can leave a normal life and their condition is not a disease that spreads and should be treated fairly.
” As a society we should treat them well, the society must accept albinos, our attitude towards them should be lovely.We should embrace them and change our perception about them, they have been socially and medically neglected.
“Government should give proper medical treatment to persons living with albinism and initiate programmes where they can get sun care products that protect their skin from spots, patches and skin cancer.
“They should equally have and centres and partner with skincare companies where the products are made affordable or subsidized for them to cope with their condition.
“They need sunscreen lotion, lips care product, after sun lotions, protective clothing, easier access to eye care products in government hospitals at no fee. When their skin is exposed to sunscreen they tend to have some spots and patches in their skin due to harshness of the sun.
“They are equally prone to skin cancer. If proper care is giving to their skin it would prevent skin cancer that majorly affects them.
“They just need to pay attention to their skin, once they are using the right skincare and ensure they don’t exposed themselves to the sun. If they must enter the sun they should be well protected by covering themselves.
“More so their vision, person living with albinism need visual impaired aid. Government should contribute to the welfare of albinos. There should be free skin care products at government hospital.
“Sun protection products is usually very expensive and a lot of them do away with it because they cannot afford it. If government can partner with the group it would help a long way to cater for them early enough.
“Availability of the product will be reduce the rising number of people with albinism who get cancer. Society should provide adequate sun protection for albinos especially children who are at high risk because the age group tend to spend more time outdoors in the sun. They are vulnerable due to the fact that they lack Melanie.
“Since their skin has both cosmetics and health complications what I expect from government to do is to collaborate with organisations like the OAM.
” Children in rural areas living with albinism needs protection strategies the ones in such environment do not have access to sun protection strategies. The government need to aid the campaign by partnering with us.
“The challenge here is poorer vision and skin deficiency that affects them which can be addressed when they used skincare products that help their skin.
“Government needs to review their health policies and address the deficiencies. They must accommodate albinos in their allocation.
“They should provide them with health care information like appropriate styles of hat to wear and how to assess commercial products on their skin.
“Most of the people living with albinism never end up with who they intended to marry base on family pressures.
“They should get enough information about it and ensure they are adequately taken care of.
“They should leave their normal life, build a network, developed their skills and ensure that they have fun that is the essence in life,” Majaro said.
Similarly, a Human Resource Business Partner with Forte Oil, Mr. Paschal Ejekwu, charged albinos not to fold their arms, because the society tends to exclude, sneer, mock them.
They should take advantage of their potentials placing aside the sheer weight of stigma and burden of social and cultural practice they face to developed themselves.
Ejekwu, who presented a paper on Career Prospect/Developing the a good resume said albinos are smarter and more intelligent people compared to human beings that have Melanie in their body.
Ejekwu 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.
He encouraged them to continue with their multi tasking ability and ensure that they don’t stop maximizing their potentials.