The Albinism Association of Nigeria has raised the alarm that many of its members in the country are dying of skin cancer due to a lack of access to preventive measures and treatment.
The association while urging the Federal Government to create an inclusive environment for persons with albinism lamented that its members were denied the right to live a normal life.
The President of the association, Mrs. Bisi Bamishe, stated this during the 2022 International Day of Persons with Disabilities celebration in Lagos.
Bamishe in a statement made available to Reportr Door HealthWise said the government should leverage innovation and technology to address the needs of persons with albinism.
She said, “We want to reiterate our call for a better life for persons with albinism. We cry out against stigmatisation, marginalisation, and discrimination.
“We are being denied rights to live a normal life. Children at school are treated with no consideration for their disability while adults are denied access to jobs, and public facilities among others.
“Our members need to have adequate medical care. Many are dying of skin cancer due to a lack of preventive measures and prompt treatment for those suffering from skin cancer.
“We, therefore, solicit a donation of sunblock lotion, hats, and UV protection umbrellas. Local production of sun lotion will be a greater advantage.”
Data from the National Population Commission of Nigeria says no fewer than 19 million Nigerians are living with disabilities.
The World Bank says persons with disabilities are more likely to experience extreme poverty in Nigeria than those without a disability.
Bamishe said innovation could support disability-inclusive development in employment, transportation, education, health, and entertainment among others for persons with albinism.
New technology, she said could also open job opportunities for persons with albinism, urging the government at all levels to create an enabling environment for persons with disabilities in the country.
“We call for the creation of an inclusive environment by the Nigerian government for persons with albinism. We call on both government and enterprises to tap into the talent pool of persons with albinism,” she appealed.
Bamishe equally urged the government to implement the disability law, adding that this would surely ameliorate their hardship and suffering.
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is celebrated annually on December 3.
The theme of the 2022 commemoration was “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fueling an accessible and equitable world.”
According to the World Health Organisation, the day is about promoting the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities at every level of society and development and raising awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of political, social, economic, and cultural life.
The United Nations says of the one billion population of persons with disabilities, 80 per cent live in developing countries.
“An estimated 46 per cent of older people aged 60 years and over are people with disabilities.
“One in every five women is likely to experience disability in her life, while one in every ten children is a child with a disability,” the UN said.
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