Government of Ghana has been urged to actively support persons living with albinism in the country.
Engage Now Africa (ENA), a non-governmental organisation, in collaboration with Ghana Association of Persons Living with Albinism (GAPA) made this appeal during the 2019 International Albinism Awareness Day held in Accra.
This year’s International Albinism Awareness Day was themed: ‘Still Standing Strong.’
ENA, which has a mission to heal, rescue and uplift individuals from poverty among Africa countries, recounted efforts the organisation has been making to ensure that persons living with albinism live in a conducive environment and also empower them to keep holding on to their rights as individuals in the society.
The Chief Executive Officer ENA, Lynnette Gay, said the NGO was working closely to improve the lives of persons living with albinism, urging the public to coexist peacefully with them.
He, therefore, encouraged health practitioners to be more efficient and alert about their duties regarding treatment and other support for Albinos.
Mr Francis Yaw Ansah, Education Director of ENA, said Article One of the human declaration states that “All human beings are born free and equal, dignity” and right for that matter, ENA believes no one should be a slave.
He revealed that in 2015, ENA research found that persons living with albinism were among the most marginalised in society.
He said ENA subsequently started a project to support persons living with albinism.
He said since the start of the initiative, several communities in Ghana and other parts of Africa have come to drop the misconception that persons living with albinism were evil.
Mr Ansah said skin cancer was a major killer of persons living with albinism.
He said ENA has enabled some persons living with albinism to have skin cancer treatments and has also provided them with sunscreen lotions and creams, sunglasses, hats among others to prolong their life span.
He added that ENA is determined to change the narrative on persons living with albinism by empowering them economically and also showcase their talents to the general public.
He urged all persons living with albinism to stand up for their rights.
Mr Abdul Wahed Ishaq, President of the Ghana Association of Persons Living with Albinism (GAPA) lamented over the marginalisation of persons living with albinism in the 21st century.
He expressed concern that albinos have become the butt of jokes and are subjected to discrimination, name callings among others.
Executive Director of Ghana Association of Persons Living with Albinism (GAPA), Mr Newtown K. Katseku, said his outfit has presented a petition to the Commission for Human Rights And Administration Justice (CHRAJ) on the need for the rights of persons living with albinism to be respected.
Member of Parliament for Krachi Nchumuru, John Majisi, who was the Chairman for the event stated that Ghana has all it takes to protect the lives of persons living with albinism. He said the government was working to address the challenges persons living albinism face.