The General Manager, Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA), Mr. Oluwadamilare Dairo, has urged people with Albinism to take all necessary steps towards ensuring their skins are adequately protected to avoid the many health problems peculiar to their skin type.
He gave the advice in his address at the event organised by the Office, in collaboration with the Lagos Albinism Awareness Society, to mark the International Albinism Awareness Day, held at the Adeyemi-Bero Auditorium Alausa, Secretariat, Ikeja, over the weekend.
He explained that the event tagged: “United in Making our Voices Heard”, which commenced with an advocacy walk, is aimed at dispelling the many erroneous beliefs and myths attached to the condition that has resulted in the discrimination against people with Albinism.
Dairo stated that the group of people, apart from the health issues that could arise from their skin condition, also face multiple forms of discrimination and sometimes attacks due to the superstitious beliefs that have continued to foster their marginalisation and social exclusion in the society.
His words: “We must educate the people on the need to let go of archaic beliefs that have continued to harm this group of people in the society. As we all know, the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has, from inception, focused on people-oriented policies and programmes where no one is left behind”.
“This gathering is an avenue to again sensitise the people on the need to join the government towards ensuring that the rights of everyone are protected by ending the superstitious beliefs. I, therefore, urge the people with albinism to continue to live their best life while maintaining good skin care practices”, he added.
The Guest Lecturers at the event, Prof. Olayinka Olasode of the Department of Dermatology and Venerology, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) and Dr. Folakemi Cole-Adeife, a Consultant Physician and Dermatologist at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), stressed the importance of regular check-up for people with albinism and the use of sunscreens as well as sunglasses to protect themselves from the sun.
According to the guest lecturers, Albinism is a result of a lack of melanin in the skin, hair and eyes, leaving vital parts of the body vulnerable to all sorts of skin diseases including skin cancer and loss of vision.
Advising sufferers to report all cases of lesions on the skin as early detection helps, the consensus was that it is extremely important that albinos avoid the sun as much as possible but cover themselves up properly if they must go out in the sun.
Other dignitaries present at the event include the SSA on Persons Living with Disability, Mrs. Adenike Oyetunde Lawal; the President, Lagos Albinism Awareness Society, Mrs. Josephine Omolola, and the Director of Medical Aids, LASODA, Mrs. Eniola Abokhai, among others.