The Albino Foundation is to decentralize its free cancer treatment to the six geopolitical zones of the country to enable its members at the grassroots have access to treatments.
The founder, Jake Epelle made this known at an event to mark this year’s national albinism day in Abuja.
Albinism is a global phenomenon that occurs in people of all race and gender.
It is a genetic disorder caused due to lack of melanin.
It is estimated that about one in seventy people carry a recessive gene for albinism, and one in every eighteen thousand people in the world are albino.
Nigeria is estimated to have one of the highest albinism prevalence rate in the world. It is against this backdrop that the federal government set aside 5th of May every year as national albinism day.
Mr Epelle called on Nigerians to support the decentralization project of free cancer treatment for persons with albinism.
“Other hospitals have agreed to pick up the free treatment project. However, money is an issue, so they have also agreed to make it part of their 2018 budget. And we will stand by that budget and push it both at the national assembly and at the executive arm.”
In a goodwill message, consul, embassy of Switzerland in Abuja commended the effort of the foundation by taking care of persons with albinism in Nigeria.
The president, Nigeria Optometrist Association, Dr Damian Echendu who said all eyes must be on deck towards finding a lasting solution to the poor vision of persons with albinism reiterated the association’s collaboration with the foundation.
“There has been a lot of studies going on to see if a stem cell could be used to improve their vision. For now, nothing has come out of it, but we are hoping that as time goes on with scientific studies, there could be something that could ameliorate and make them see better.”
The theme of this year’s event is Albinism and Cancer: The Need for Everyone’s Involvement.