Gambian Albinos want Gov’t support to fight skin cancer

Awa Boye, The Secretary General of the Organization of the Gambian Albinos

By Mustapha Jarju

The Secretary General of the Organization of the Gambian Albinos has called on the government of the Gambia to urgently provide support to hundreds of people with albinism in the country who are at risk of skin cancer due to high temperature and climate.

Awa Boye, SG of the group, said they need government interventions and advice with preventive measures from exposing their skin to the sun, which makes them have skin cancer.

“Albinism is associated with health complications, and sunscreen lotion is one of the essential products that help people with albinism from getting skin cancer or other related health complications. These products are only available in supermarkets and pharmacies but are very costly,” Awa told TAT.

She said her association was established in 2012 to advocate, coordinate, and support people with Albinoism in the Gambia and has made some gains in championing the rights of Albinos.

According to her, the highest number of skin problems registered by her organization came from the Basse administrative area due to the high-temperature level.

“There are a lot of Albinos in the Upper River Region who have Skin cancer, but they are still in their homes; they don’t know where to go to have help. They don’t have any support from anybody, and they are still struggling independently,” she said.

“The government should provide support as per UNCRPD, which talks about access to health care which is contained in article 25. State parties shall ensure that persons with disabilities have access to health, and we cannot get this in our hospitals even curing cancer is a problem here,” Awa argued.

SG Boye further told TAT: “We have many cancer cases in our organization, and every day we report these cancer cases, but what can we do because we do not have any money to take care of these cases or seek overseas treatment? We currently have three cases in Dakar, and our organization struggles to pay that medical bill.”

She further calls on the government to come to their aid daily, arguing that she receives calls from parents of people with albinism complaining of their children having skin problems.

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