Living with albinism is difficult, albinos in Africa live a terrifying reality. This hereditary metabolic disorder is characterized by the absence of pigmentation (melanin) inside the skin, hair, and eyes. However, there is one striking aspect that trails this disorder: discrimination.
This stigmatization is especially bad in the Albinism community in the local council area in the northcentral Nigerian state of Nasarawa. However, Albinos don’t only experience hardship in Nasarawa state, like other tropical regions, Nasarawa State usually gets extremely hot weather and this greatly affects the albinos’ condition.
Also, the poverty level amongst Individuals living with albinism in the locality does not help the situation. Plus, the lack of proper health care facilities developed for albinos living in the area is disheartening. The Chairman of the Nasarawa State Association of Persons with Albinism has confessed that they are constantly exposed to cancer infections and different health challenges dem.
Mr. John Maigwa, the chairman has said that the lack of treatment centers in the state and north-central Nigeria was a major cause for concern for albinos living there. He additionally disclosed that four albinos had been diagnosed with cancer for about three years now, in the state and the three of them were in critical conditions.
“We don’t receive any assistance from organizations or governments,” he said.
“These sick ones in critical conditions might die unless the government and other well-meaning Nigerians come to their aid to help save their lives. These sick ones are from poor families and they can’t afford three square meals a day talk less of chemotherapy for their cancer”
He then went on to appeal to the Nasarawa State Government to help them initiate a special scheme that provides cars for Persons with Albinism, most especially the poor ones.
According to Maigwa, Albinos in the area face two major challenges. One was that ignorant people saw them as ghosts while the other challenge was the mindset that other individuals see them as a punishment from God.