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Albino awareness launched

29 April 2013, 13:47 Arap Yego

The government in conjunction with the Kenya Albino Child Support Programme (KACSU) has launched an awareness programme aimed at enlightening persons with albinism on their rights.

KACSU director Mary Kiptoo said the initiative is meant to address key challenges that are being faced by people with albinism in the country since most of them have been suffering from discrimination.

“This progamme seeks to demystify myths about persons with albinism in addition to finding solutions to their day to day challenges that have been a major hindrance to living normal life like other people,” Kiptoo spoke at a Kitale hotel during a workshop.

She pointed out that they are sponsoring 150 children in Primary and secondary schools across the country to help them realize their education goals like other children.

“We are sponsoring 150 children where we are meeting their school fees and other effects. We are providing them with a special sun lotion and sun glasses to prevent them from being infected with skin cancer owing to heat effect,” she said.

Saboti Division Officer Peter Kissinger said the government is carrying out a census of persons with albinism in the country in order to help cater for their special needs.

“The government has procured enough sunscreens that can last for a year to be distributed countrywide to Albinos across the country,” said Kissinger.

They decried the discrimination of albinos in Trans Nzoia County in recent appointments where they are many as in the neighbouring Bungoma County.

“We are not happy with the way Albinos are being discriminated in Trans Nzoia. In Bungoma, the number is low but they have been given preference in appointments,’ said Kiptoo.

The actors called on the government to build special schools for learners with albinism so they can be in a friendly environment where they do not feel out of place like is the case currently.

During the forum, people with Albinism narrated how they hardly cope with life due to discrimination owing to myths related to their condition.

“We are having challenges ranging from marriage, employment and general discrimination. I have hunted for a job for 14 years with no successes owing to negative perceptions by potential employers,” said John Kimalel, an albino.

It was also noted that female albinos are at a greater risk of rape and attacks by people who are after their body organs.

They are also prone to discrimination in access to education.

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