Albinism Society lobbies Govt. to adopt Disability Policy

03rd November 2017
Sergeant Kgosietsile, chairman of The Albinism Society of Botswana. Source:The Midweek Sun

The Albinism Society of Botswana (ASB) is on a mission to demystify albinism and educate people about the dangerous practices of discriminating people with the condition. The society will host a series of campaign sessions across the country beginning Tuesday in Palapye to raise awareness and protect people with albinism against discrimination and abuse in society.

Titled, ‘Myths, Facts & Killings of People with Albinism’, Chairman of the ASB, Sergeant Kgosietsile hopes the campaign will encourage Batswana to stop labeling albinos, and to understand that character and actions matter more in life than height, skin colour or ethnic group. He explained that the sessions, which will be held in Palapye, Molepolole, Kanye, Masunga, Maun, Gantsi and Gaborone, have been designed to drive the integration of people with albinism in society to show them that they are equal with others in every aspect.

“We all need to make an effort to address subconscious biases we may have against people with albinism”. The society, Kgosietsile explained, wants government to adopt the Disability Policy and accord Albinos special rights relating to health, education and employment. Owing to a lack of melanin - albinism, a genetically inherited condition estimated to affect one in 20,000 people worldwide - leads to people having little or no pigmentation in their eyes, hair, and skin. And given the mythology surrounding the condition, albinos are targeted for their body parts in some countries because of a false belief that they bring luck, wealth, and cure HIV. The demand is so high that in countries like Malawi, bodies are stolen from graves in order to resell them to the highest bidder. “Due to these factors, people with albinism remain one of the most vulnerable groups in the world,” Kgosietsile said.

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