Reported by Mike Van Kamande,Mana
Government says it is fully committed to providing care for persons with albinism to prevent skin cancer through provision of training and skills to health workers.
Speaking on Tuesday in Balaka during a training for health workers responsible for skin diseases organised by Standing Voice Deputy Director in the curative and medical rehabilitation services for Ministry of Health, Dorothy Chinguwo said government assigned dermatology officers in all district facilities to assist persons with albinism access services easily.
“We want persons with albinism to easily access quality services relating to their condition and this is only possible if the dermatologists have constant refresher courses and training.
Organisations like Standing Voice and Beyond Suncare which are working together to help people with albinism live decent and dignified lives are doing a lot to complement government efforts.
“Persons with albinism are having challenges accessing sunscreen which helps prevent cancer especially in rural areas, however, the truth is that there is enough sunscreen lotion in government facilities. We are training pharmacy assistants and technicians apart from health surveillance assistants and nurses on how they can help persons with albinism to prevent skin cancer,” she said.
Balaka district hospital skin coordinator George Anafi said the training was inspiring as it was the first to be conducted in the district.
“The training was very helpful on providing correct information regarding skin care especially albinism as the condition is shrouded in myths. The training also provided an insight into compounding quality sunscreen which is very crucial to persons with albinism and lastly the capacity building gained is very important,” Anafi said.
Standing Voice Country Director Bonface Massah said his organisation is working closely with government and other stakeholders to promote rights of persons with albinism in the country.
“We are conducting mobile clinics on albinism and offering surgeries to patients with skin cancer related complications in collaboration with the ministry of health.
“The aim of our project is to reduce cases of skin cancer and amplify awareness of albinism to Malawians. These people still face stigma and discrimination and this is the time to reach everyone to increase knowledge of albinism to Malawians,” he said.
He said persons with albinism still face challenges to access dermatology services hence the project is working with government to increase access to quality healthcare for these persons.
Reported by Mike Van Kamande