BY NDUMBE BELL JOSEPH GASTON IN DOUALA
In anticipation of the commemoration of the International Albinism Awareness Day next June 13 reports collected as part of FabAfriq’s 7thedition of their activities to raise awareness of albinos’ plight in Cameroon, indicate that the snobbism, discrimination in the education system, employment, stigmatisation in other circles, are drastically dropping.
Albinism, we are told by experts in the domain, is an inherited non-contagious defect where the parents usually carry the gene even if they do not appear albinists themselves. It is not ethnicity- based and is found in all the countries across the globe. The root cause is actually a lack of pigmentation called melanin in the skin, eyes and hair which does not now provide adequate resistance to the sun and then results to visual impairment and skin cancer or other variables.
Science has not found any tangible answer to reverse the disorder nor any cure for the lack of melanin which is known to be the main cause of albinism.
While the Cameroonian society is generally adapting to live in communion with albinos,, there are those who still are practising sorcery to have enormous good luck or wealth through the ritual killings that have been related to the severing of body parts of albinos to make those obscene goals a reality.
As June 13 approaches, one of the associations for the promotion of albinos in Cameroon ASAC arranged with the CEO and Founder of FabAfriq, Mme Adeline Sede a promoter, and organised a press conference at theFrenchInstitute Douala to drum greater care and security for the albinists.Backed by a resolution in 2013 (A/HRC/RES/23/13) ofthe United Nations Human Rights Council calling for the prevention of attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism being that they deserve specific needs that desire special attention, a more vibrant and positive looking attendance at the conference, was again in action and proud about their educational, cultural and employment achievements this far.
In the press conference Mme Wafo, the President of the association told the press that the time for just sensitisation on the colour of their skin alone is history. She asked all albinos to remain strong and continue to prove their mettle in society she demanded greater care and attention from the socio-economic spectrum’s stakeholders continuing that theywere just like anyone else but the sunlight or sunshine was their main enemy of which they cannot do without.