• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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BusinessDay

Over 70 persons with albinism benefit from INAAC’s free sunglasses

Over 70 persons with albinism benefit from INAAC’s free sunglasses

…As over 100 get free skin, eye care services

The Initiative for Advancement of the Albinism Cause (INAAC) has provided free sunglasses to over 70 persons with albinism in Edo State

BusinessDay reports that the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) also offered free skin and eye care services to more than 100 persons with albinism in the state.

Joy Odigie, founder and executive director of the initiative, who disclosed this in Benin City, said it was part of the organisation’s activities to celebrate the 2024 International Albinism Awareness Day (IAAD).

Odigie said the 2024 celebration with its theme, “10 Years of Collective Progress” was geared towards celebrating the shared commitment and relentless efforts over the past decade to improve the lives of persons with albinism.

She said that the organisation, since establishment, has started subsidising skin cancer surgeries for persons with albinism due to the increasing burden effect of the disease.

She said the event was planned to bring the community together in a significant and impactful way.

Odigie added that the essence of the programme was to create awareness about the challenges facing persons with albinism such as vision and skin challenges to see how we can mitigate and reduced these challenges.

She also added that in the last two years of existence, the NGO has distributed sun skin scream to over 200 persons with albinism an average price of N15,000 each.

“Under our eye care and skin cancer treatment, we have referred over 19 persons for subsidised surgery where hospital offers a 20 percent to 30 per cent discount to patients, patients 20 to 30 percent while the organisation pay 30 per cent to 40 per cent of the remaining medical bills.

“Most persons with albinism are poor, hence, they have to support and subsidise their treatment so that they can afford it,” she said.

She, however, posited that climate change has led to rising temperatures and heat waves, negatively affecting the skin of people with albinism in Nigeria.

“We are now recording increasing cases of skin tumors and cancers, especially among rural dwellers and poor persons with albinism who lack access to sunscreen lotions, skin checks, and services.

“So, we have ear, nose, skin and eye doctors here who would give the free check up and do referral for persons with albinism who has serious ailments to where they can get affordable treatment.

“We partner with a hospital in Benin to run the subsidised skin tumors and cancers surgeries,” she said.

Odigie, however, announced a plan to launch skin and eye trust Foundation for persons with albinism to provide critical resources to address their unique challenges.

She added that the challenges range from low vision to skin cancers with the aim of enhancing quality life for this vulnerable set of people.

The Founder of INAAC, opined that for the trust fund foundation to be successful, the NGO need the support of the government and non-governmental actors, organisations and other partners.

She noted that their contributions and involvement would be vital in ensuring that this trust foundation can make a meaningful impact.

She posited that most persons with albinism are poor hence they have to support and subsidise their treatment so that they can afford it.

Odigie, however, called on governments, NGOs donor agencies and wealthy individuals to support the organisation to be able assist persons with albinism and make life comfortable for them.

According to her, for this fund to be successful, we need the support of government and non-governmental actors, organisations and other partners.

“Your support and commitment exemplify the spirit of community and solidarity that drives our mission,” she added.

Earlier, in his tips for healthy life, Aisha Sokunbi warned the beneficiaries and those with albinism against exposure to sunlight which could damage their skin.

Sokunbi, a dermatologist urged the government and well-meaning individuals to always help reduce the burden on this group due to their skin type.

A beneficiary, Igal Joy commended the NGO for the free outreach, saying she has been checked and also gained more knowledge on how to lived good life.