International Albinism Awareness Day: MP wants YEA to roll out module for PWDs

There was once a contest for albinos in East Africa[/caption] The Member of Parliament (MP) for Krachi Nchumuru Constituency in the Volta Region, John Majisi, has called on the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) to roll out a module solely for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in the country. Mr Majisi said this will help persons with disabilities to be productive and employable. “The YEA portions for persons with disabilities have not been done and that for albinos has been ruled out,” the MP observed. The National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP was speaking on TV3’s New Day on International Albinism Awareness Day on June 13. People with albinism face multiple forms of discrimination worldwide. Albinism is still profoundly misunderstood, socially and medically. The physical appearance of persons with albinism is often the object of erroneous beliefs and myths influenced by superstition, which foster their marginalization and social exclusion. This leads to various forms of stigma and discrimination. In some communities, erroneous beliefs and myths, heavily influenced by superstition, put the security and lives of persons with albinism at constant risk. These beliefs and myths are centuries old and are present in cultural attitudes and practices around the world. Mr. Majisi on New Day said that “elsewhere, there are disability funds which cater for persons with disabilities and I am challenging my colleagues in Parliament to ensure that whatever has been discussed at the Committee levels will be implemented”. The legislator said “albinism is not very common in Ghana and so people have not shown much interest into it but I am now creating the awareness for people to see the need to protect these species”.

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The Executive Director of Ghana Association of Persons with Albinism, Newton Kwaku Katseku, observed that albinos around the world, especially in Africa, are going through extreme stigmatization. He said, traditionally, there is a belief that the body of the persons with albinism can be used as a charm for rituals in acquiring sources, wealth and good luck and, as a result, several people with the condition have been persecuted and killed in certain parts of Africa such as Tanzania, Rwanda, Mozambique and their neighbouring countries. Mr. Katseku said “people hold the belief that persons with albinism never die and having sex with women with albinism kills HIV/AIDS which is false”. The Director revealed that “research has shown that albinism is not contagious but genetically inherited condition occurring in both genders regardless of ethnicity in all parts of the world”. By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|Onua 95.1FM||Ghana ]]>