The Albinism Association of Nigeria (AAN) on Thursday in Abuja called on the Federal Government to reinstate the free skin cancer intervention program that people with albinism (PWA) benefited from in the past .
Association President Jake Epelle made the call during a press conference to commemorate National Albinism Day 2022.
This day, a day of national observance, is commemorated every year in Nigeria on May 5 to highlight and address the issues of PWA.
This year’s celebration is themed “Save Our Souls from Skin Cancer – Patients with Albinism”.
Mr. Epelle said that in 2007, PWA launched a public-private partnership with the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo at the National Hospital and other designated public and private hospitals.
According to him, more than 5,000 VAPs were treated as a result of the intervention, but it was subsequently halted.
The president of the association said that the devastating effect of skin cancer kills PWA and something must be done to contain it.
“We are taking this opportunity and this platform to urge the federal government to reinstate the free treatment that was put in place by the government of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
“The intervention continued under the administration of the late President Musa Yar’adua. It was first funded in 2013 by the service-wide vote of the Federal Ministry of Finance.
“The arrangement had earmarked and expended N17.8 million alongside other helpful resources for this effort.
“The previous government took it upon itself to continue the process.
“The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari initially introduced the free skin cancer program but it was truncated and the reason given was lack of funds,” he said.
Mr. Epelle also called on the federal government to include skin cancer care within the scope of the Cancer Health Fund initiative, which only addressed breast, cervical and breast cancers. uterus and prostate.
He said this was because special attention needed to be given to PWAs who were suffering from one or more forms of cancers due to their condition.
He also advocated for the launch of the Sun Protection Campaign, a policy framework to increase advocacy that could be led by the Ministry of Health to sensitize PWA.
Epelle noted that JAMB has made the Unified Graduate Diploma Examination open to people with disabilities.
According to him, this means that Persons with Disabilities (PWD), a group of which PWAs are a part, now have extended exam time and accommodation for those of them who take the exams.
“JAMB made arrangements for PWA due to our visual impairment.
“If you’re a PWA and you’re taking JAMB this weekend, go to the invigilator and let the person know you’re a PWA.
“That way you can enjoy a special moment,” he advised.
Mr. Epelle also said efforts were…