GOVERNMENT has pledged to continue fighting against stigmatisation and discrimination of people living with albinism, says Minister of Health Joseph Kasonde.
Dr Kasonde said Government will continue to provide policy guidance and ensure that the welfare of vulnerable groups such as people living with albinism is well taken care of.
“It is worth noting that this group of people has continued to be discriminated and marginalised while their rights continue to be violated. As signatories to the United Nations convention on the rights of every citizen of a country, Zambia will fight against stigmatisation and discrimination of people living with albinism,” he said.
Dr Kasonde said this in a speech read on his behalf by Ministry of Health (MOH) permanent secretary Davy Chikamata during the International Albinism Awareness Day themed ‘Persons with albinism taking our rightful place in society’ in Lusaka yesterday.
He said Government aims to see that people living with albinism have more meaningful and productive lives despite the condition.
“I therefore urge the general public and other stakeholders to embrace people living with albinism and reach them through quality education with life skills, better job opportunities in an enabling business environment, better health care, quality income, gender, access and opportunities, eradication of poverty and access to clean water and sanitation,” he said.
Dr Kasonde commended National Albinism Initiative Networking of Zambia (NAINZ) for spearheading the welfare of its members.
“This is important because when people enjoy their rights, the economy of a country flourishes as people are at peace and therefore become productive,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Albino Foundation of Zambia (AFZ) executive director John Chiti warned traditional healers against inciting citizens into killing albinos.
“Traditional healers are lying to people that if they kill an albino and get some parts of the body they may become rich. We do not want what is happening in other countries to take root in Zambia. I urge the Government to look into this matter before it gets out of hand,” he said.