President Paul Kagame has urged concerned organs to improve access to sunscreen body lotions and creams to alleviate the plight of people living with albinism.
The Head of State made the remarks on Sunday during the ’Meet the President’ session at Intare Conference Arena in Kigali, where he met over 2,000 young professionals from across the country and the Diaspora.
Albinos face a number of challenges in life because of their conditions. They require sunscreen body lotions and creams to help keep their skin in good conditions.
Presenting the problem, the Representative of the Organisation for Integration and Promotion of People with Albinism (OIPPA) in Rwanda, Dieudoné Akimaniduhaye told the President that getting protective sunscreen body lotions and creams is expensive, and that many suffer from the struggle.
“All sunscreen lotions and creams that are imported are highly taxed and that makes them very expensive. We wish that these lotions and creams would be made affordable for Albinos, so that at least each and every one of us would be able to pay for it from our Mutuelle de Santé,” Akimaniduhaye said.
President Kagame immediately heeded to his request, saying that there was no reason as to why they wouldn’t be facilitated, and further tasked officials in charge to follow-up on the issue.
“I totally agree with you and it should be considered. There’s no reason why we should even ponder on the matter, there has to be a way of facilitating people living with Albinism.” Kagame said.
President Kagame further tasked Minister for Local Government, Francis Kaboneka, and his colleagues to follow up on the issue and resolve it in a very short time.
Jayden Fikiri Uwimana, the Executive Director of Amizero Group, an association that cares for people living with Albinism, told IGIHE that the cheapest sunscreen lotion costs Rwf8,000. He further remarked that every Albino cannot afford the costs.
Uwimana added that if the lotions and creams were made affordable, the risk of getting Skin cancer would be highly diminished among Albinos.
The skin-protecting products come in different categories and prices. For a period of two months, you can find a Rwf10,000 lotion for adults and Rwf6,000 for children. Albinos request that one bottle should go down to a cost of Rwf2,000.
World Health Organisation estimated in 20116 that there was one person with albinism condition in 5,000 to 15,000 in Sub-Saharan Africa. Estimates in other parts of the world were around one person in 20,000 people but data on albinism prevalence by country remain scarce.
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