Govt Fails Albinos, Not Providing Sunscreen Lotion

Persons with albinism claim that a majority of them are dying of skin cancer following failure by the government to provide them with sunscreen lotion.

They add that most of them are not economically empowered hence their failure to buy the lotion which is expensive.

The sunscreen lotion is an important element in the life of a person with albinism as it protects them from the effects of sunrays which cause skin cancer.

One of the affected albinos

One of the affected albinos

In other countries for instance, Kenya, a deliberate program was put in place aimed at providing free sunscreen lotion to these people.

Here in Malawi, the situation is different following the absence of the product in most public hospitals.

Ian Simbota a member of the Association of People with Albinism (APA) told Capital FM that the government has not been forthcoming to assist people with the lotion despite making promises to enroll such an initiative.

“We have not started receiving help from the government because they have just been promising that through the central medical stores trust, they will be procuring the lotion for us, that’s why I even made a call recently in Kasungu that we should be having that but we are yet to hear from the government what the problem is” Said Simbota.

He further indicated that some of the lotion the minority group is using at the moment is coming from cooperation partners. He pointed out that the lotion is not enough as many of the people with albinism living in remote areas have not been able to access.

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Macphail Magwira stressed that there is no special arrangement for the provision of sunscreen lotion and that person with albinism should check in district hospitals where they can get the lotion as any other medical drug.

“Those are operational issues and the DHO’s are supposed to source them from the medical stores trust because there is no policy which says don’t buy the sunscreen, medical facilities are free in the country so it is a question of going to the hospital if they are not available they place an order because they are supposed to be provided” said Magwila.

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