Director of Education at Engaged Now Africa (ENA), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Mr. Francis Ansah, has called for a pragmatic approach to demystify the myths, perceptions and misconceptions about persons with albinism.
He made the call recently at this year’s International Albino’s Awareness Day (IAAD). He minced no words when he appealed for support and empathy for persons with albinism, stating that, “Persons with albinism deserve a better life and that depends on the attitude towards work.”
According to Mr. Ansah, persons with albinism have been living in total fear as a result of some unfavourable cultural practices and beliefs which have forbidden them from venturing into certain places.
As part of the group’s reliefs, it is seeking to create an inclusive society free of discrimination, stigmatisation and total elimination of myths and misconceptions associated with albinism.
ENA, he revealed, was further seeking to promote the fundamental human rights of persons with albinism in consonant with Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
He further stated that persons with albinism were faced with the threat of stigmatisation and discrimination as though “they are not part of the human race.”
He indicated that persons with albinism were as hundred per cent human as any other person walking on the streets of Ghana.
“Child abandonment and infanticide have become a norm once a child is born with albinism.
Mothers of such children have been ostracised and rejected by their husbands and family members,” he said. “We are here to plead with the general public to accept and appreciate persons with albinism as the only difference is our skin colour,” he stressed.
According to him, persons with albinism were determined and talented people and, therefore, should be offered the opportunity to contribute their quota to national development.
Engaged Now Africa, he noted, is here to change the narratives on albinism through its sensitisation activities.
He revealed that his outfit was lifting persons with albinism and empowering them to be self-reliant through various economic empowerment programmes lined up for them.
Mr. Ansah reiterated that albinism was just a genetic disorder and should not be a hindrance on the lives of those affected. He encouraged persons with albinism to stand up for their rights and occupy their rightful places in society.
“You are a light to the world and must let your light shine brighter. He added that a research conducted by ENA in 2016 revealed that persons with albinism were marginalised for which reason his outfit was championing equal rights for persons with albinism.
Prosper KWAKU SALASSYY