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Albinism Awareness Day: Sun protection, crucial for prevention of skin cancer-Dermatologist

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Dr Olarewaju Falodun, Chief Consultant Physician Dermatologist, National Hospital, Abuja has advised Persons living with Albinism(PWA) to protect them from the sun as well as prevent occurrence of skin cancer.

Falodun gave the advice at the sideline of the 2019 Conference on Albinism and the International Albinism Awareness Day, which held on June 13, in Abuja.

He said Persons with Albinism were susceptible to skin cancer if their bodies were exposed to the sun without application of sunscreen ointments.

“The major means of preventing skin cancer among persons with Albinism is sun protection; Albinos must be sun smart, particularly at the peak periods ( 10:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m).

“They need to wear clothes that cover their skin completely, face caps, gloves, long trousers, skirts and apply sun screen lotions, very often like every two hours of being exposed to the sun,’’ he said.

Falodun, however, noted that there was insufficient sun screens for the number of persons with albinism in the country.

The medical practitioner, who stressed the need for sunscreens for PWA called on well-meaning Nigerians and government to support in ensuring the availability of sunscreens, to PWA to prevent them from skin cancer.

According to the consultant, Albinism is an inherited disorder of the skin which happens when an individual limited quantity of melanin; the chemical substance responsible for skin colouration.

He advised PWA to remain focused, never to lose their self-esteem and strive to be the best the could be to fulfill their potential.

Contributing, Mrs lovelyn Gabriel, a business woman, said she had five children three of who lived with albinism.

“My husband and I are black skinned but we have three children with albinism; my mother told me they inherited the condition from my great grandparents whom I don’t know.

“I ensure they are protected from the sun, they wear clothes that cover their skin and I apply sunscreen to prevent them from skin cancer.

“The schools they attend ensure their rights are protected. They sit in the front in the class to see clearly; the schools allot more time during examinations and their teachers read to them for better understanding.

Mr Adam Ayeni, a graduate of English language and a teacher, advocated the protection of the rights of persons living with albinism and others with disabilities in the country.

Ayeni also called on the Federal Government to provide jobs for the educated among people living with the condition in the civil service where they could work effectively, without pressure.

He further appealed to government to provide desks in all government organisations, to address the needs and protection of the rights of persons living with disabilities, adding such desks, he said, should be manned by persons with disabilities.

Edited by Dada Ahmed

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