|Forum On Albinism|
|Wednesday, 04 August 2010 08:20|
Government and the Department of Social Welfare have been criticised for failing to address the concerns of albinos in Ghana.
According to Professor Edmund Nminyem Delle, Life Patron of the Association of Persons with Albinism (GAPA), four petitions addressed to government by the Society of Albinos in Ghana (SOAG) have never received any response.
Prof. Delle, therefore, called for a vigorous public campaign to demystify the esoteric notions about the physique of albinos. He was delivering a lecture organised by GAPA in Accra, yesterday.
The theme for the lecture was “Albinism–The Myth and the Reality”.
Prof. Delle noted that albinos lack equal opportunities in the sphere of employment, marriage and access to health services.
He said stigmatisation against albinos should be regarded as an international human rights problem while misbehaviour towards them is tantamount to racism.
Prof. Delle said albinos are normal human beings whose conditions can be explained from natural causes and described the notion that the body parts of albinos are powerful and can be used to concoct magic to get people rich over night as a myth.
Last year, albino killings were reported in Tanzania due to the high demand for albino organs, particularly the genitals, limbs, breasts, fingers and the tongue for ritual purposes.
Currently, according to World Health Organisation (WHO) sources, there are over 170,000 albinos in Ghana.
Albinism basically results from lack of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes of affected persons. Since albinos lack melanin, a dark photo-protective compound produced by melanocytes in the basal layer of the epidermis, and dispersed in the malpighian layer, over exposure to the rays of the sun can cause skin damage leading to skin cancer.
Source: ISD (G. D. Zaney)