Malawi to protect albinos 1. Posted on Thursday 14 May 2009 - 10:42 Harry Mangulenje, AfricaNews reporter in Blantyre, Malawi The Albino Association of Malawi (TAAM) has asked its members to register in various hospitals in the country so that their population can be updated. TAAM also pledged to provide security to the people from some intentioned members of the society. The registration will also help each one of them easily access facilities which prevent skin cancer. Speaking during an awareness meeting held at Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC) Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital Levi Mwale a dermatologist said the nationwide albino census is on course. He said the exercise is meant to ensure that all albinos are registered and given special attention in various clinics when they require to access facilities which can prevent them from getting skin cancer. He said the exercise is part of managing albinism in the country. “It is very important for all the albinos to register during the on going census which is being carried in various hospitals because it helps them to access facilities much easier,” he said. When asked how many albinos are registered in Blantyre Mwale said they currently recognize 1080. “We know there is an albino in every 2000 people and we know there are many in the communities but currently we only recognize 1080, these are dully registered in the city. However registration is still on going and we know that the figures will be rising,” he said. He listed the facilities as sunglasses, sunscreens, caps and many other skin protective clothing. Two visiting officials Dr. Colete van Hees from Netherlands and Dr. Rosemarie Moser, a dermatologist from Austria said albinism is a manageable condition because it only affects eyes and skin. They asked other members of the Malawi community to desist from stigmatizing and segregating albinos. “We heard sorry stories from Tanzania where albinos are rated as nonhumans; we would like to condemn in strongest terms that form of abuse,” said Moser. ‘It must never happen in Malawi because it will dent the image of the country to the international world in terms of human rights,” she said.

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