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Govt delay on free sunscreen promise irks Albinism Association

The Albinism umbrella considering local manufacturing of sunscreen creams for its members. FILE PHOTO

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The association of persons living with Albinism is considering local manufacturing of anti-sun creams following the government’s delay to respond to their appeal for free supplies.

Olive Namutebi, the Executive Director of the Uganda Albinism Umbrella, says their protracted appeal to the government to include sunscreen creams on the list of essential drugs has been in vain, prompting them to consider the option of having the commodities manufactured locally.

Persons living with albinism need sunscreen creams as vital commodities that provide them with protection from ultraviolet sunrays; which expose them to high risks of getting skin cancer. The creams are however categorized as luxurious lotions, which renders them unaffordable.

Namutebi says that the umbrella has considered an innovation that can promote the local manufacturing of the creams, as one of the ways of making them accessible and affordable to the people that need them, while also waiting for the government’s unfulfilled promise.

Despite registering success in the preferred innovation, Namutebi says, they still want the government to provide the supplies at no cost and make available the lower-level healthcare service delivery points.

Agnes Nampeera, the Principal Rehabilitation Officer in the Ministry of Gender Labor and Social Developement, who officiated at the event to mark the international Albinism awareness day, held in Masaka, asked the albinos not to lose hope saying that their appeals are under consideration.

She explains that government has in place a National Action Plan on Persons with Albinism, which promotes their protection, saying that the responsible Ministries are already deliberating on its implementation.