Kenya marks International Albinism Day amid calls for equality

Kenya marks International Albinism Day amid calls for equality

Persons with albinism continue to face discrimination and frequent emotional and physical attacks from society, in spite of efforts by the Albinism Society of Kenya (ASK) championing for their protection and fight for equal human rights.

Speaking to the press during this year’s International Albinism Day, which was held on Sunday, the ASK Chairman, Isaack Mwaura, insisted that people living with the condition, equally deserve job opportunities as the rest of other Kenyans.

“Equality for everyone is equality for someone with albinism,” said Mwaura, and encouraged people living with Albinism to be more vocal about their opinions, focusing on this year’s theme “Strength beyond All Odds.”

Mwaura also cited lack of unity among members of ASK as a challenge to the functions of the organisation, and urged the members and the public to unite in order to ensure that their rights are safeguarded.

The Society also cited challenges the organisation and its members experience, such as violation of their rights.

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According to Betty Milgo, programme officer, ASK, some of their members were being accused of being the carriers of the COVID-19, forcing them to live in fear of possible attacks.

She also noted that stigma and exclusion remain a challenge.

“Article 27 (4) of the constitution prohibits discrimination on persons on basis of colour or disability,” said Milgo.

She also decried budget slash for people living with albinism almost by half that was done without public participation and consultation with relevant stakeholders, which will hinder service delivery to their members.

The United Nations (UN), estimates that one out of 17,000 persons are affected by albinism in the world.

Albinism is a condition where one is born with less melanin, a skin pigment that determines a person’s skin colour, hair and eye colour, making them sensitive to the sun and bright light.

Albinism International Awareness Day is celebrated every June 13.

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