People with Albinism in Nkhata Bay district have expressed concern with scarcity of sunscreen lotion in the district health facilities.
Stewart Ndhlovu raised the concern on Wednesday during District Executive Committee (DEC) meeting comprising heads of department organized by Federation of Disability Organisations in Malawi (FEDOMA) under the new project titled: A Disability Inclusive Malawi Society through Empowered Disabled People’s Organisations.
Ndhlovu said district health officer stopped procuring sunscreen lotion long time ago which he said is a health risk to the People with Albinism in the district.
“As person with albinism, we are at increased risk of sunburn and skin cancer with the scarcity of sunscreen lotion which protects us from sunlight,” he explained.
Ndhlovu said as a precaution measure People with Albinism in the district are always indoors when the sun shines.
“As one way of protecting ourselves from sunlight we usually wear long sleeves and hats with brims which protect the face, ears, and neck,” he added.
Malawi Council for the Handicapped (MACOHA) Nkhata Bay district Coordinator Matatiyo Chirambo concurred with Ndhlovu that there is indeed scarcity of sunscreen lotion in health facilities in the district.
He said; “We have instituted a task force team to meet the District Health Officer (DHO) and lobby for a certain percentage in the funding to procure sunscreen lotion so that our colleagues are protected from sunburns and cancer.”
Responding to the concerns in a separate interview, Nkhata Bay District Nursing Officer Bonnifacio Ndovie said they don’t procure the sunscreen lotion but they just depend on well wishers.
“On sunscreen lotion as a district, we don’t procure we just depend on well wishers. But plans are there but the drawback is financial resources,” Ndovie said.
Albinism is a condition that occurs in 1 out of every 17,000 births. It is a disorder that is caused due to lack or absence of melanin due to a mutation of certain genes.–Mana