OAM Celebrates International Albinism Awareness Day 2017
On the 13th of June, 2017 Speaking during the commemoration of the International Albinism Awareness Day in Lagos by OAM Foundation, the Director, United Nations Information for Nigeria, Mr. Ronald Kayanja said reports have shown that persons living with albinism were been hunted for rituals and amulets which have resulted in the killing of countless persons living with albinism.
Mr. Ronald expressed that in order for a person to be affected by albinism, both parents must carry the gene and in that case there is a 25percent chance that a child will be born with albinism at each pregnancy. “It has been widely reported and documented that persons with albinism are hunted and physically attacked due to prevailing myths such as the misbelief that their body parts, when used in witchcraft rituals and potions or amulets, will induce wealth, good luck and political success. Other dangerous myths that facilitate the perpetration of attacks are those linked to perception of their appearance, including misbeliefs and myths that person with albinism are not human beings,”
Speaking at the awareness day tagged: ‘Beyond The Complexion’, Mr Ronald said that one of the most serious health implications of albinisms was the vulnerability to skin cancer. “Skin cancer remains a life threatening condition for most persons with albinism. Statistics on the issue are mostly from Africa and they indicate a worrying trend. Some reports indicate that most persons with albinism die from skin cancer between ages of 30 and 40 years”
On her part, the Co-Founder, OAM foundation, Mrs. Onome Okagbare Majaro said albinism results because of lack of melanin in the hair, skin and eyes, causing vulnerability to the sun, adding that it doesn’t mean disability or death sentence.
Mrs. Majaro lamented that persons with albinism faces multiple discrimination which consequently has led to pathetic stories of albinism
“There is no doubt that people with albinism face multiple forms of discrimination worldwide. The truth is, albinism is still greatly misconstrued, socially and medically even by elites. The physical appearance of persons with albinism is often the object of erroneous beliefs and myths influenced by superstition which fosters their marginalization and social exclusion”.
OAM Foundation has embarked on awareness about albinism to the general public, educate persons with albinism about skin care, empowerment to become better and confident members of the society and also organizing advocacy campaigns.