H4P RAISIES AWARENESS ABOUT ALBINISM

Indisputably, the first thing you see is my complexion but beyond that, I am a human being just like you. For decades now Persons with Albinism experience high levels of stigma and are constantly ridiculed in our society. In addition to this, there are a lot of superstitious and erroneous beliefs associated with albinism.

Some peopleerroneously believe that albinism is contagious and do not want to have any form of association with persons with albinism. Others regard persons with albinism as precious commodities that have magical powers. They believe that concoctions made from body parts of persons with albinism can make one rich and a result they are abducted and killed for rituals in certain African countries. Some also believe that having unprotected sex with a woman with albinism can cure a man with HIV.

All these misconceptions put the lives of persons with albinism at constant risk. It stands to reason that the high level of ignorance with regards to albinism, especially in the African society, exacerbates the persecution and segregation of persons with albinism. The panacea to this issue then is “Education”; there is the need to create awareness about albinism and this must be done now. Persons with albinism are in present and constant danger and the education must be immediate and consistent. People must be well-informed about albinism because it is greatly misunderstood. On Tuesday13th June 2017, International Albinism Awareness Day was celebrated worldwide.

It is a day set aside by the United Nation (UN) to spread information about albinism and to avoid the mobbing and discrimination of persons with albinism. According to the UN, the International Albinism Day aims to increase global attention to human rights. It also aims to clear prejudices people have concerning albinism and to inform the general public about this inherited genetic disorder. According to the Ghana Association of Persons with Albinism- GAPA, the theme for this year’s celebration is “Advancing with a Renewed Hope”.

The theme focuses on the expectation of countries, organizations and individuals’ struggle to promote the security, fundamental human rights and freedom of persons with albinism. It also envisions a new hope as countries continue to improve the security of persons with albinism and trying to ensure their freedom and full access to society. As an organization with a focus to bring dignity to disability, the H4P organization strongly believes that education holds the key to changing societal misconceptions surrounding persons with albinism. We therefore want to take this opportunity to educate our readers about Albinism. Albinism is a very rare genetically inherited condition which affects approximately one in twenty-thousand people worldwide.

Across African countries, persons with albinism are classified amongst the vulnerable groups of society which includes persons with disability. Albinism occurs when a person inherits two mutated or altered genes, one from the sperm of the father and another from the mother’s egg during fertilization. This results in little or no production of the pigment melanin, which determines the color of the skin, hair and eyes.

It is important to note that the parents themselves do not need to have albinism. Albinism increases sensitivity to sun exposure hence persons with albinism may be more inclined to developing skin cancer or wounds nevertheless this can be avoided by keeping in the shade or using appropriate sun screen lotions. Persons with albinism always have poor vision due to the abnormal development of the retina and abnormal patterns of the nerve connections between the eye and the brain. Visual aids; corrective lenses, reading glasses etc. can be helpful in correcting these vision problems.

Although albinism cannot be cured, people with albinism can live normal lives. When people are well informed about albinism it would reduce the high level of stigmatization and persecution of persons with albinism. With this information we realize that albinism is not contagious. So now, what do you see? My complexion or my person?


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H4P (Here for Perfection), is a Non-Governmental Organization that is currently based in Ghana with a focus on health, human rights and national development.
Objectives
To champion health and development projects with global impact.
To build a culture of excellence, creativity and originality that will be passed on to subsequent generations and spread throughout Africa and beyond.
To advocate for peace and progress in Africa through the medium of Gospel music and entertainment.

CONTACTS:

POSTAL ADDRESS: P.O.Box AN 8336 Accra - North Ghana-West Africa
TEL: +233-(0)302329414
MOBILE:0208686777 0233868777 0249480611
E-mail: h4pcrew@gmail.com
WEBSITE: www.h4pcrew.net
Office Location:Kofi ne Ama Junction, Dansoman
Last Stop, Accra-Ghana.