Persons with Albinism need budget line – Foundation

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    By Talatu Maiwada

    The Albino Foundation (TAF), a  Non-Governmental organisation, on Thursday, called on the Federal Government to create a budget line for persons with disability (PWD) to give a sense of belonging in the country.

    Mr Jake Epelle, Founder, The Albino Foundation, made the appeal at the 2019 National Conference on Albinism and International Albinism Awareness Day, in Abuja.

    The International Day which is an annual event on June 13,  is to improve the awareness and response to challenges of persons with albinism and their families.

    The event has as its theme: `Still Standing Strong, Advancing the Albinism Cause’  is aimed building the capacity of persons with albinism.

    Epelle said it was important that the Federal Government provides funds by creating a budget line for PWD to implement various projects that would improve the lives of people with such condition across the country.

    “We have access to social services but no direct funding from the government; we want the government to fund albinism projects all over the country.

    “This can be done either through the Albino Foundation or through various ministries that can honestly intervene and provide the services we need.

    “ The Nigerian government needs to fund the service givers, just like our counterparts, the Kenya government gives the Kenya Albinism society one million dollars every year.

    “The Liberian government gives the Albinism society 300,000 dollars every year, also South Africa gives 800,000 dollars and other seven African countries supports the Albino society in their countries.

    “We also want to gain more grounds in partnering with the government in reviewing the policy on Albinism, presently we are working with eight Ministries and 15 Parastatals,’’ Epelle said.

    He however, commended the government for giving a voice to young and aged persons with Albinism as well as addressing issues of persons living with disabilities.

    He added that the event would build the capacity of persons with albinism to enable them believe in themselves and become better persons in the society.

    Speaking, Mr Bright Ekweremadu, Country Director, CBM, an International Christian Development Organisation advocated that government should appoint persons with disability in strategic governance position.

    He said this would create a society with equal opportunities and inclusiveness for persons with any kind of disability.

    “The people with disabilities have disability in area of the eyes and skin, with great potential, we are ensuring that persons with disability are not discriminated against, and brought into national focus.

    “We as organisation, is committed to improving the quality of life of people with disability in the poorest communities in the world.

    “We want Nigerians to celebrate Albinism, it is not a defect, it’s a condition, and they are normal people like every one of us. Let’s show love to them,’’ he added.