Jake Epelle, the National President of the Albinism Association of Nigeria (AAN) has sought the Federal and State Government intervention on skin cancer programme for Persons With Albinism (PWA) in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar on Tuesday.
He also appealed to corporate organisations and well meaning Nigerians and corporate organisations to assist the PWA.
He said the consequence of skin cancer is killing persons with albinism and something has to be done to contain it.
The president lamented that the response for care of persons with the condition has not been very encouraging over the years even though they have been very civil in the pursuit of the agreement the Federal Government had with them.
“Our needs are not more than the needs of others. These include free treatment of skin cancer, good education, social and financial inclusion.
”There is the challenge of stigmatization, discrimination, abuse, dehumanisation. Sunburn is one of the most serious complications because it can increase the risk of developing skin cancer”, he said.
Commenting, Cross River Coordinator of the association , Bassey Mbang, Cross River Coordinator of the association said the PWA’s voices in the state has been very low because they are hardly recognised.
Mbang said life has been difficult for peopke with this condition as no one wants to look at the challenges faced by them, which is the major factor exposing them to the risk of skin cancer.
“In Cross River, we have about 800 persons with albinism scattered all over the state and the challenge is gathering everyone together because it is capital intensive.
“So, because of lack of unity, we cannot create the needed awareness for people with albinism to help them know how to manage the condition.
“Right now, we have nine persons suffering from skin cancer, so, we are using this opportunity to advocate that the cancer treatment programme by the Federal Government for persons with albinism be revived.
“We are also appealing to individuals and corporate organisations to assist us, the assistance must not be in cash, we need sun shades, umbrellas and awareness campaign,” he said
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