Albinism Society plead for govt support

September 1, 2013 1:09 pm
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Speaking at the Albinism Screening Day in Nairobi on Sunday, the society’s coordinator Isaac Mwaura said money allocated by the government for albinism is not being utilized/MUTHONI NJUKI
Speaking at the Albinism Screening Day in Nairobi on Sunday, the society’s coordinator Isaac Mwaura said money allocated by the government for albinism is not being utilized/MUTHONI NJUKI
NAIROBI, Kenya Sept 1 – The Albinism Society of Kenya has accused the government of denying support to people living with albinism.

Speaking at the Albinism Screening Day in Nairobi on Sunday, the society’s coordinator Isaac Mwaura said money allocated by the government for albinism is not being utilized.

“We cannot be using private philanthropy to galvanize on something that somebody in government should be taking action on. Sh100 million have been allocated on Albinism but it has been lying there,” Mwaura said.

He asked the government to get involved with the society and help curb the rising death of people living with albinism caused by skin cancer.

“Skin cancer can be treated, the only problem is that if diagnosed late, it’s impossible to treat, and that’s the reason for this screen day today, we have partnered with donors and doctors from Germany and local doctors to do this screening,” he stated.

The one day event saw 50 people screened, advised on how to protect their skin from the sun.

They will also receive sun glasses and sun screen lotion.

The cancer screen will also be rolled out throughout the country in the coming months.

Mwaura also revealed that the society is in the process of building a cancer screen centre in Nairobi that will cater for people living with albinism.

He said that the cancer screen centre will have eye care services, sun screen production, doctors and will also be used as a research centre.

“We have already identified land in Nairobi and we are already in talks with developers, in November we will be having a fundraising dinner and the building is set to begin next year,” he revealed.

Among the people to benefit from the cancer screening is Patrick Mwigiri who pointed out how expensive it is to protect the skin.

“Sun screen is very expensive. I cannot afford it. I have no option but to expose myself, it’s dangerous but what can I do? I need to eat and hustle for my family,” said Mwigiri.

Skin cancer is the major cause of death of people living with albinism with doctors pointing out that almost a hundred percent of people living with skin cancer get infected.

“Skin cancer is treatable, and the horrible thing is that people with skin cancer in the country are dying. It’s up to us to catch the cancers early to treat it and to make it preventable,” said Tilman Stasch Consultant Plastic Surgeon Valentis Clinic.

Stasch said the incidence of skin cancer is extremely high in people living with albinism because they don’t have pigment in their skin which means the skin is not protected from the sun damage.

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