Parents whose children are living with Albinism have been urged not to confine them at homes for fear of stigmatization but to take them to schools.
Juma Balesa Secretary-General of Persons Living with Albinism (PWAs) in Tana River speaking in Chewani Primary School during a post-event to mark International Albinism Awareness Day (IAAD) said by educating their children the parents will benefit from the fruits of the education in the future. “In terms of education, people with disabilities also need to have equal rights because they have disabilities and weaknesses and the thing that will make their lives better is not something else, not land, not clothing, it is education,” Balesa said.
“If a disabled person is educated he or she will be able to do whatever they want, so those parents who are here and you have disabled children make sure you educate them,” he added.
Employers were urged to give preference to people living with disabilities in employment, for them to improve their lives and take care of their families.
Balesa said the solution to the high cost of living lies in education: “If those who do not have disabilities are complaining about the rise of basic commodities, what should the disabled say? Parents who have children with disabilities look at the current status of the economy and then imagine when your child becomes an adult with his children what life will be like,” he noted.
Hamisi Bakari, Treasurer of PWAs, a secondary school teacher by profession, said Parents with children with skin disabilities should be encouraged to take care of them and send them to school as school is the backbone of the children, and getting an education will help them in the future.
Bakari extolled the government through the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) for the provision of free sunscreen lotions to protect PWAs from the effects of harmful sun rays which cause skin cancer.
“PWAs have a lot of problems especially with the sun, when the sun is scorching, our skin is affected by the sun’s rays. We are thankful the government has brought us sunscreen lotion. If we apply it, we can walk anywhere in Kenya because that lotion is very good,” he said.
However, he advised the government to create awareness of albinism since some people still have a negative attitude towards people with skin defects and some think it is a curse.
By Sadik Hassan