The Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation has passionately called on the Government of Ghana and for that matter the Ministry of Health to include ‘sun-care products’ on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to cater for persons with Albinism.
Persons with albinism naturally have extremely light and delicate skin which requires special and regular management especially in a blistering environment like Ghana.
In a statement issued in Accra in support of the 2020 International Albinism Awareness Day, the Executive Director of the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation, Dr. Otiko Afisah Djaba expressed the need for Government to prioritise the health of Albinos and protect them from needless abuse, discrimination and stigmatization resulting from their unique skin colour.
She revealed that most albinos are evicted from their communities, rejected, abandoned, killed or shunned by their families, an act she insisted constitutes a criminal offense.
The former Minister of State who is now a celebrated international advocate for persons with disability and gender equality, urged the Government to develop a national educational and health policies for persons with albinism, and institute a ‘Sun Care Day’ in Ghana for the albinos as it is done in other African countries like Kenya and Malawi.
According to Ghana Statistics, in a population of roughly 28million people, Ghana has approximately 2000 individuals with albinism.
The physical appearance of persons with albinism is often the object of erroneous beliefs and myths which are influenced by superstition.
This leads to marginalization, social exclusion, discrimination and various cruel and abusive forms of stigma.
But, albinism is not by choice but is a pigmentary abnormality which leads to an extremely light hair, skin and eye color.
It can be hereditary. According to Graphic online, albinism results from the inheritance of recessive gene alleles and it affects all vertebrates including humans.
The Executive Director of the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation therefore grimaced against the negative traditional belief in some places that suggested that it is a taboo and a curse to give birth to an albino.
Dr. Otiko Djaba expressed worry finds it difficult to understand why in spite of the global call for action to raise awareness every year, people with albinism still continue to suffer multiple forms of discrimination worldwide.
“Why can’t we look beyond the fact that they only look different, and thus see their unique qualities and abilities?, she quizzed.
“Persons with Albinism are humans as we are and they matter; In this post Covid- 19 pandemic and the aftermath of the racist killing of George Floyd, we must all rise and fight for persons with albinism”.
Dr. Otiko Djaba described as very ridiculous for people in this 21st century to hold the wrong myths that the cure for HIV/AIDS is having sex with a woman with albinism.
Others, she indicated, also believed that albinos had special qualities for ritual purposes including charms for magical powers that bring wealth, success and good luck.
Source: www.thenewindependentonline.com/ News Desk