Myths on albinism misplaced, association says


Myths on albinism misplaced, association says

The National Albinism Society of Kenya (NASK) has kick-started an awareness Campaign that targets teachers, security personnel and religious clerics, following myths and misconceptions that have exposed albinos to various atrocious acts thus infringing upon their rights.

The initiative executes the second phase of the ‘niko na haki campaign’, dubbed as “Nikubali nijumuishe” translated as “accept me and include me in your normal life activities.”

The mission has been orchestrated to put an end to the atrocities performed against people suffering from albinism, especially in the central part of Kenya. Their objective is to include them in everyday activities in order for them to have an equal place in society.

In Murang’a County for instance, an albino lady was viciously raped by her brother’s friend, who believed that if he had sexual intercourse with an albino his HIV/AIDS status would automatically change to negative.

An act that the national coordinator for NASK Mr Isaac Mwaura thoroughly condemned, asserting that albinism is not a cure for HIV/AIDS.

Mwaura sternly avowed that albinos are equal to non-albinos in nature, noting that the only difference is the skin pigmentation.

He added that albinos can get infected with HIV/AIDS and cannot therefore cure the disease.

“What kills most albinos is skin cancer due to the nature of their skin that is affected by sun rays, but that can be mitigated by the use of sunscreen lotions,” he said.

Mwaura also acclaimed the government’s efforts to champion for their rights by allocating a budget of Sh100 million annually for the purchase of sunscreen lotions, sun glasses and other essential provisions such as education and hospital bills for those affected by skin cancer.

The government is now urging people living with albinism to be part of this initiative and register at the nearest district social offices.

“The registration will also help us know the number of albinos we have in the country. Currently, the government program caters for 3,190 albinos who are registered with different district social offices,” said Mwaura.

The MP explained that the reason for involving teachers, security personnel and religious leaders is because they are the key stakeholders at the grass-root level in terms of awareness creation so they can help demystify issue to do with albinism.

 

 

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Story By Shamsa Abdulkadir
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