28 December 2017

Zambia: 25,000 Albinos Send Sunscreen Lotion SOS

MORE than 25,000 persons with albinism in Zambia are in need of sunscreen lotion because of the adverse effects of climate change, Albino Foundation of Zambia (AFZ) executive director John Chiti has said.

Mr Chiti says his foundation has recorded a lot of skin cancer cases across the country involving albinos because of lack of lotions that protects their sensitive skins to lotion.

He said climate change had become a great danger to the many lives of albinos especially those in rural areas.

"2017 has been a very challenging year. I must say that we have been greatly affected by the change in climate. As you observed, this year has been a very hot year and it didn't spare our members.

He explained; "Many people with albinism are affected because they lack melanin and we have recorded a lot of cancer cases and others have died from cancer related cases as a result of the sun especially in rural areas," Mr Chiti said.

He called on Government to quickly come to the aid of his organisation by providing enough sun screen lotion for persons with albinism.

"We are looking forward to engage Government next year so that it can help us with sun screen lotion for our people. Up to now we haven't found the solution to the challenge of sun screen as it is not easily accessible and affordable," he said.

He suggested that the lotion be provided to people in the rural areas free of charge due to economic challenges.

He said according to the Central Statistical Office census for 2010, the total population for persons with albinism at the time was about 25,000, which could now be projected at about 27,000 now- all of them in urgent need of sun screen lotion.

"I must recommend that persons with albinism in rural areas be prioritised with sun screen lotions instead of those in urban areas because those in rural areas are always exposed to the sun due to farming activities," he said.

Mr Chiti further called on the police to intensify its investigations into cases involving attacks on albinos, which have in some cases, involved murder.

He complained that a lot of cases were reported but very little action and results were being recorded from the Police.

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