Foundation Calls For Attitudinal Change Towards Albinos

The Onome Akinlolu Majaro Foundation (OAM) has called for attitudinal change towards albinos, while donating free eye classes.

Director of the foundation, Mrs. Rita Okagbare, said a lot of negative issues have been basically linked to albinos.

She listed the issues as discrimination, stigmatisation, stereotypes, lack of adequate health care for skin cancer, visual impairment, lack of qualitative education and reasonable accommodation of the needs of albinos.

Okagbare said there was need for government to empower them economically by providing entrepreneur and skill-set development centres for albinos.

"People with albinism have been persecuted, killed and dismembered; sometimes their grave are dug up and desecrated. At the same time, people with albinism have been ostracised and even killed for exactly the opposite reason because it is presumed they are cursed and would bring bad luck. This persecution takes place mostly in Sub-Saharan African communities especially among East African regions," she said.

Consultant Ophthalmologist and head, Department Ophthalmology, Lagos Teaching Hospital, (LUTH), Prof Adeolu Onakoya, in his remarks, said sight was a common challenge for albinos because they find it difficult to focus on things.

He said people living with albinism were peculiar people., as "God made them special."

Dr. Olusola Ayanlowo, consultant dermatologist and head, Department Dermatology, LUTH/College of Medicine, said the university carried out a research on albinos.

According to him, research indicated that people living with albino have skin problems due to the challenge associated with the sun

"The pigment or chemical that is found on other people is absent or very low for albinos," he said.

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