Written by Esnath Kalawe
Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati has said government will keep on supporting persons with albinism in order to address challenges they encounter.
She said this on Tuesday during a presiding over ceremony of donation of lotions and sun glasses to persons with albinism at Mitundu Primary School in Lilongwe.
Kaliati said her Ministry will continue supporting persons with albinism in addressing the challenges they encounter in acquiring their education among others.
“We have 129 persons with albinism in Mitundu, we are supporting them. We have asked Chief Chiseka to help supporting them in collaboration with the government,” she said.
The Minister pointed out that government under the leadership of Dr Chakwera salutes people of albinism saying the President salutes them for instance by employing some people in high position to help him running the government which shows love and commitment for the people with albinism.
“As we are getting in 16 days of activism, we will make sure that Ministry of Justice support the Judicial so that justice should prevail, in all the 169 cases are looked into.
“This will include prone districts of Machinga and Lilongwe where a number of persons with albinism have been killed as well as missing and some graveyards attempted,” she said.
Assistant Director of Clinical Services in the Ministry of Health, Joel Chisite disclosed that as Ministry of Health they are working to a document on National Action Plan on Persons with albinism that outlines the roles to deal with people with albinism.
“Our Key elements are to make sure that prevention of skin cancer through provision of sun skin lotion to them. Their skin lacks melanin hence is at risk of catching skin cancer. We are working with partners like APAM in dealing with it so that dyeing of skin cancer should be an issue of the past,” he said.
Malawi College of Health Sciences, Head of Optometry Department, Thandie Kalua said it was not a simple process to identify and screen persons with albinism for appropriate type of glasses that would suit them as they are situated in different places.
One of the beneficiaries, Bridget Macfaiti from Mitundu Secondary School thanked the Ministry for the timely donation saying the glasses would help her accomplishing her studies as she has visual impairment.
According to 2018 National Statistical Office (NSO), Malawi has 134,000 registered persons with albinism, hence the program is expected be extended to every district.
Government has plans to construct solid houses initiating support to people with albinism.