Bungoma County through the National Council for Persons with Disability in partnership with Bungoma County Referral Hospital on Thursday carried out a free cancer screening test for people with albinism.
Speaking to the press, Bungoma County Disability Officer Rosemary Ameru explained that persons with albinism are at a high risk of developing skin cancer due to the lack of melanin hence the need to always check for cancer.
Ameru said that cancer screening helps in detecting abnormal cells that may become cancerous in people who have no symptoms.
She added that early screening tests have been shown to detect cancer early and to reduce the chance of dying from that cancer.
Ameru said that screening cancer before symptoms appear makes it easier to treat cancer.
She added that patients that are found with symptoms of cancer are usually referred to hospitals and the bills are offset by the government.
The officer asked people living with albinism to participate in government projects adding that this will be achieved once they are registered as members.
“Through registration, you’ll be able to get education bursaries, tools of trade, economic empowerment through grants, sunscreen oil, caps and job placements,” she said.
She also added that people living with albinism benefit through tax exemption, five per cent job employment and free cancer screening and treatment.
“Albinisms are given Nivea sun oil that helps in UVA protection, UVB protection, water resistance, prevention of intensive moisture and soft skin feeling,” she added.
Silvia Nyabera, a Dermatology and Venereology Health Practitioner in Bungoma County Hospital urged the people with skin disability to always take care of their skin. She urged them to always wear capes and long sleeved clothes to maintain their skin colour.
She said that their skin should always be white, and they should prevent them from direct contact with the sun’s rays.
Nyabera further encouraged parents to take their albino children to school to achieve equal opportunities. She added that parents should take charge where the government cannot extend its hands to.
Jane Mary, one of the persons with the genetic disorder pleaded that sunscreens be included on the list of the essential drugs so that they will be able to freely access them from government hospitals saving them the burden of the high costs of these cosmetic.
She expressed her gratitude to the county and national government for recognising and appreciating persons with disability by providing equal opportunities to them.
By Anne Wekesa and Roseland Lumwamu