Home Albinism News LAAF Seeks Inclusion Of PWAs In Decision Making

LAAF Seeks Inclusion Of PWAs In Decision Making

by Sejoro Ekundayo
Published: Last Updated on

To advance the inclusion of Persons with Albinism in government’s activities and programs, the Lagos Albinism Awareness Foundation (LAAF), on Saturday, 5th August, called for inclusion of Persons with Albinism (PWA) in decision makings in corporate organisations and public sectors.

The foundation also tasked parents of children with Albinism to include them in all aspects of family activities because according to it, “strength starts from home”.

The International Albinism Awareness Day is a day set aside by UN to celebrate Individuals with Albinism. For LAAF, this day marked an opportunity to celebrate achievements of Albinism community. This year’s theme is “Inclusion is strength”. The theme emphasizes the importance of inclusion of a diversity of groups from both within and outside the Albinism community.

Chairperson of LAAF, Josephine Omolola

Speaking at the event, the Chairperson of LAAF, Josephine Omolola, said “PWAs should be included in any organisation according to their ability”.

Omolola thanked Lagos state government for various activities and programs put together for Persons with Disabilities in the past.

Speaking further she added “but we still need more in the place of inclusion. PWDs should be given equal opportunity to serve in both local, state and the nation at large.

“We want inclusion in the system of government, PWA deserve opportunity to work in organisations and public services. We have demonstrated in the past, PWA can take up any positions and perform above expectations. We have lots of trained teachers, doctors, nurses, etc, among us who are seeking employment. By granting us the opportunity to work in corporate organisations and public services, you are giving us the strength.

Persons with Albinism

Omolola also tasked teachers in schools to push for inclusion of PWA in classroom setting. According to her, “by placing an Albinism child closer to the board, you are giving them the strength to perform excellently well academically”.

The President and Founder of Super Parents Foundation – Barrister (Mrs). Mofoluwasho Liasu in her speech said “the Federal Government has taken keen interest in Albinism and the challenges faced by PWA in terms of their skin problems, vision, low self-esteem, myths, discrimination and stigmatisation.

Liasu said “the population of PWA in Nigeria, according to Knowledge, Attitude and Practices (KAP) research documented by UNICEF (2011), is estimated at about six million, out of which 40% are children.

President, Super Parents Foundation, Barr Mofoluwasho Liasu with sign language interpreter

“To mitigate the learning challenges and create educational access, a blueprint on Albinism education in Nigeria was developed by the Federal Ministry of Education. Consequently, the need for a more encompassing policy that will address the multi-faceted needs of Persons with Albinism became imperative.

“The National Policy on Albinism in Nigeria is in response to the numerous challenges encountered by Persons with Albinism (PWA). In Nigeria, the socio-cultural system with its inherent myths and beliefs has put PWA at a low stratum in all spheres of life. Persons with Albinism experience psychological challenges due to stigmatisation, discrimination and segregation.

Liasu affirmed that “this policy is intended to improve the status of PWA by harnessing their full potentials and guaranteeing equal access to education, social, health, economic and political opportunities. It is multi-sectorial and provides a holistic approach to improving the standard of life of PWA.

“The Policy is aimed at mainstreaming. Albinism into every sector of development in Nigeria. Based on the issues stated above, the rights of persons in this group cannot be disregarded. It is hoped that effective implementation of this policy and its guidelines will guarantee improved conditions of life for PWA”. She said

Liasu also tasked parents of children with Albinism to teach them their rights, this will strengthen them to speak for themselves against any forms of discrimination they might encounter in the future.

Dermatologist at LASUTH, Dr Cole Adeife with Sign Language Interpreter

A dermatologist at LASUTH, Dr (Mrs) Cole Adeife, advised mothers of children with Albinism to always take their children to healthcare centre for check up and learn how to care for the children’s skin. She also tasked PWA to always take care of their skins, use every available protection and see a doctor for check up every 3-6 months.

The event highlighted the presentation of dance competition, skill training, distribution of UV protection items, health check-up.

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