GAPA Takes Campaign Against Stigma On Albinism To Remote Communities

2 May 2019
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Open Society Initiative for West Africa (Dakar)

The campaign which is being sponsored by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), sought to sensitize members of the communities, where customary banishing on persons with albinism are still been practiced.

Mr Newton Katseku, Executive Director of GAPA, disclosed this in an interview with Modernghana in Accra, last Tuesday.

He said the state of insecurity among persons with albinism required immediate attention before it spirals out of control, adding that, "despite education, some communities in certain parts of our country still defied the many human rights laws and banished our members."

According to him, the outmoded culture practices in those communities continue to build uneasiness among persons with albinism as they feel very insecure in their daily lives.

He noted that, if the lives of persons with albinism are to receive substantive meaning, the government and it's agencies especially, the National Commission of Civic Education ( NCCE) and the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ ) should provide a safe and secure environment for persons with albinism in the country.

Currently, Mr Katseku said most persons with albinism are not in good habitation and are often maltreated and discriminated, citing communities like Abase, Akuamufie and Brukule, where the superstition and discrimination against persons with albinism prevail extremely.

He explained that the OSIWA project will provide members of GAPA the opportunity to move into such communities to advocate for the rights of its members, stressing that, "no one under the laws of Ghana is allowed to banish another because of his or her condition."

The GAPA Executive Director, who is a Board member of Africa Union (AU) responsible for Policy on Albinism, stated that the OSIWA project would further help the association to work on a strategy for safety measures for people with albinism.

The ultimate aim, he said is to stop the rising spread of violence against persons with albinism, nothing that, the general public needs to be involved in identifying and implementing community-oriented safety measures for people with albinism.

Mr Katseku added that the albinism safety awareness and educational campaigns would further boost confidence and bring an end to superstitious beliefs, discrimination and stigmatisation.

He expressed deep concern about abusive language and derogatory remarks directed at persons with albinism in schools, workplaces, communities and church and hope this intervention would help in someway.

Even though it is a daunting task to filter out all illogical and dehumanising elements in cultural backgrounds and belief systems, the GAPA leader believed a substantial education campaign aimed at behaviour change would help address this societal phenomenon.

He attributed the entire stigmatization to lack of knowledge to the common myths that being with albinism is not a curse.

With the Funding from OSIWA, he said GAPA will engage in formal and informal awareness campaigns aimed at reaching a broad spectrum of the general public.

He stated that, it was time for many to acknowledge that persons living with albinism are part of the human society and must be accorded with the right to live.

Source: Modern Ghana

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