By Makutu Manneh
Awa Boye, Secretary General of the Association of Gambian Albinos, has urged the Gambia Government and National Assembly to look at the plights of albinos in the country.
Ms. Boye made this call as the world celebrated the International Albinism Awareness Day on 13th June, 2021.
“Albinos need support to have sunscreen and sun glasses for them to be protected from the heat of the sun,” she said.
In an exclusive interview with this medium, Madam Boye highlighted the educational challenges albinos grapple with in the Gambia. She said because most albinos are visually impaired, they are not given special attention in the educational system as they are put in the same line with the rest.
Ms. Boye said albinos face social exclusion, stigma, discrimination and marginalization in their societies yet not much attention is given to them. She said all these are due to the misunderstanding the society has against albinism owing to their physical appearance.
“Around the world, some mothers are divorced for giving birth to an albino,” she said.
The Association of Gambian Albinos SG wants the National Assembly to pass the Bill of Persons Living with Disability as she believes it is one of the tools that can protect them.
She also wants challenges, such as proper health care system, good education and equality with the rest in their societies, faced by albinos in the country to be addressed.
The theme for this year’s International Albinism Awareness Day is “Strength Beyond All Odd”, and to highlight achievements of people living with albinism around the world. This day is put aside for albinos in order to end violence and discrimination against them.
In the Gambia, the Association of Gambian Albinos was formed in October 2021. The association began awareness campaigns to break the myths and misbeliefs surrounding persons with albinos. It also seeks to promote their right to education and health care.