If there are any groups of people who are disadvantaged and yet little attention is paid to them, then they must be albinos.

These are people with physical differences from normal people which genetic condition they have inherited.

Albinism is defined as “the total absence of both congenital and hereditary melanin pigment in skin, hair and eyes.

Simply put, it is an inherited genetic condition that reduces the amount of melanin formed in the skin, hair or eyes and occurs in all racial and ethnic groups throughout the world.

Worldwide, it is estimated that one in 20,000 people are affected by albinism and it is in Africa where is prevalent.

Unfortunately, these groups of people are marginalised and discriminated against in many communities around the world, and in some cases their fundamental rights are violated.

It is against this backdrop that the United Nations (UN) set aside the International Albinism Awareness Day in 2014 to create awareness about albinism in order to end attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism.

The day which was marked under the theme: “Advancing with renewed hope,” did not attract enough public attention but is very important.

It is important that the nation’s attention is drawn to the discrimination and denial of most basic needs to albinos in the country.

According to available information, albinos are often denied the most basic right such as access to education, health care, employment, right to political participation, social and family life and freedom of movement among others.

It is unfortunate that albinos are treated differently from normal human beings and denied basic rights to exist.

On the occasion to mark the day set aside for albinos, The Times would like to add its voice to the call for an affirmative action, exclusively to protect all albinos in the country.

We must also enforce all national and international laws that recognise the right of albinos so that they do not continue to be discriminated against.

We all need to pay more attention to albinos and protect their rights.


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