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Africans with albinism call for regional integration

Africans with albinism call for regional integration

Tanzania

Africans with albinism have called for the need for integration and security of their wellbeing.

The group made the call at the first ever United Nations sponsored regional forum for Action on Albinism in Africa held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The forum was organised to develop specific measures in tackling the attacks and discrimination faced by persons with albinism.

We have had this forum for the last three days, it has really been very impressive to hear from people representing twenty nine countries of the African continent about the common challenges.

“We have had this forum for the last three days, it has really been very impressive to hear from people representing twenty nine countries of the African continent about the common challenges, their priorities and very importantly the development of an action plan,” said resident coordinator, Alvaro Rodriguez.

An Independent Expert on People with Albinism, Ikponwosa Ero said they had the forum to address the attacks against persons with albinism for the purpose of selling their bodies for a financial gain.

She complained that the practice is spread across the continent.

“At this forum, specific measures have now been developed. Participants of the forum responded to the crisis facing persons with albinism in their region by moving away from the general recommendations which are very ideal and not specific, to coming up with simple, practical and effective measures that can be effected by all stakeholders, government and civil society.”

Persons with albinism are mostly made to suffer under the hot scourging sun in Africa as their eyes and skin are vulnerable to cancer.

Sometimes, they face attacks and are killed and their bodies taken away by some people who believe their bodies bring one form of good luck or the other.

According to a Canadian NGO, Sous le même Sun, about 457 attacks have been listed including 178 murders committed against persons with albinism in 26 African countries in the last 10 years.

They also noted that the exact magnitude of the phenomenon is difficult to identify because of the secrecy that surrounds the practices.

In the past 19 months, authorities in Malawi have recorded the murders of 18 persons with albinism and abduction of five others. However, human rights groups fear the real figure is likely to increase as it is in other affected countries.