The Lagos State government has urged school authorities across the state to stop discriminating against albinos in their midst, especially by discouraging them from being exposed to too much sunlight.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Adebunmi Adekanye gave this advice while speaking at an event to mark this year’s International Albinism Awareness Day in Lagos.
According to Adekanye, albinism is no punishment for any crime neither is it the making of any god or goddess as erroneously believed by some people, rather it is an existence of a substantially lower rate of melanin production which is the pigment responsible for the color of the skin, hair and eyes.
She also counselled that the protection of Albino’s skin from the sunlight is very important because they are more sensitive to sun exposure and have an increased risk of skin cancer and irritation.
While acknowledging that albinism can be very challenging, she urged them to wear sunglasses to mitigate the effects of sunlight on their eyes and vision.
She also noted that no albino should see his/her health condition as a hindrance to his/her greatness in life nor feel inferior to non-albinos.
Adekanye also admonished members of the public especially pupil and students to stop harassing and humiliating their fellow students because of the difference in the colour of hair and skin.
She urged all students and the society at large to give albinos around them the support that would help them succeed.
The government also gave out free Sun Screen Bathing Soap and Body Lotion for the albinos’ skin management in order to reduce the risk of skin cancer.