Malawi will today join the international community in commemorating this year’s International Albinism Awareness Day.
The theme for this year’s commemoration is “Together we can end human rights violations against persons with albinism”.
The event will be held in Kasungu and President Peter Mutharika is expected to attend.
Briefing the press in Lilongwe, Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Dr. Jean Kalilani said this year’s commemoration is meant to appeal to the general public to engage in constructive discussions in order to find lasting solutions that would promote and protect persons with albinism, who are being increasingly discriminated.
Kalilani added that the commemoration is also meant to appeal to the general public to uphold the rights of persons with albinism and commence the implementation of the solutions that would uphold the rights.
“We have lived with persons with albinism in Malawi since time immemorial, they have always been a part of the Malawian society, but it is sad to note that myths and misconceptions about their condition have resulted into their discrimination and exclusion from our society,” she said.
The minister added that the country has been beset by a steady increase of physical abuse, abductions, killings and exhumation of the remains of persons with albinism in a number of districts.
“This is a very sad situation, which has even limited the participation and contribution of persons with albinism to national development, even to their own right to enjoy life,” said Kalilani.
She said this year’s International Albinism Awareness Day hopes to lobby for funding for the implementation of recommendations towards addressing the current challenge and to recognize different efforts and contributions from various sectors; Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Nongovernmental Organisations (NGOs) and Government towards addressing the abductions, killings and exhumations of the remains of persons with albinism.
“My Ministry in conjunction with different stakeholders have developed a response plan to address the atrocities which identified six intervention areas, these are undertaking of education, awareness raising and training activities and strengthening of internal security.”she said.