FILE PHOTO: Albinos

The Edo Ministry of Health on Thursday promised to alleviate the health challenges confronting Persons With Albinism (PWA) in the state.

Dr Osamwonyi Irowa, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, made the pledge when he played host to members of The Albino Foundation (TAF), Edo chapter, on a courtesy visit in Benin.

Irowa said the ministry was ready to partner TAF in creating awareness about the health needs of PWA, as well as, assist in providing free eye and skincare services.

He said the ministry would also look into the provision of sunscreen lotions for them and partner the foundation to improve the health status of its members.

“We will work with you to create awareness on the health care of PWA and to organise workshops and seminars on albinism issues.

“Our desire is that you live better lives. You can put your weight on the government to enable you to achieve the activities you have planned out.

“For us in the medical field, we know that lack of melanin is a challenge for PWA but it doesn’t disturb PWA from getting educational and social achievements.

“The governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, asked me to host this courtesy call and we will convey your requests to him for further decision and actions,” Irowa said.

Earlier, Miss Joy Odigie, the Assistant TAF Coordinator in Edo, said people with albinism in the state were faced with low vision and unavailability of sun protection creams.

She appealed for financial assistance for three of their members suffering from skin cancers to enable them to foot their medical bills.

“We are requesting that the ministry of health provides sunscreen lotions (SPF 50+) for PWA in the state.

Odigie said: “Sunscreens lotions help to prevent sunburn and decrease the risk of skin cancers. This product should be added to the life-saving commodity list of the ministry.

“We are also requesting that the ministry partners the foundation to establish a skincare trust fund in the state, to foot the medical bills of PWA suffering from skin cancers in the state.”