The Albinio Trust of Zimbabwe has urged the business community to accept, embrace and employ people with albinism.
Albinism is a rare group of genetic disorders that causes the skin, hair, or eyes to have little or no colour. Albinism is also associated with vision problems.
In an interview with 263Chat, Albino Trust of Zimbabwe spokesperson Bruce Nyoni said albinism was still misunderstood as evidenced by a range of prejudices and social stigma faced by people living with the condition.
“Its not everyone who is understanding our needs and wants. People lack knowledge about albinism, employment in the private sector and in the government therefore remains a challenge,” said Nyoni.
In so many African countries, people with albinism are misunderstood and mistreated because of their skin colour. Many myths have been heard and said that spread the stigma and discrimination.
“A limited number of people with albinism are formerly employed. sometimes its us the people with albinism who lack qualifications so it goes both ways,” added Nyoni.
“We continuously encourage the business community to employ people with albinism and to make them aware of the benefits that comes with employing persons with albinism such as tax and government reberts. Companies that employ people with albinism are incentivised. Persons with albinism themselves are incentivised at the end on the year by ZIMRA. Persons with albinism need to be capacitated,” Nyoni said.
“These emanate from myths and misconceptions which foster their marginalization and social exclusion. It is for these reasons that, as a nation, we need to raise awareness and protect our fellow citizens against discrimination and abuse,” he said.
Albinism is an inherited disorder. It is inherited as a recessive gene from both parents. As with all recessive conditions, the chances of two people carrying the same recessive gene increase if the two have recent common ancestors.
Therefore, while albinism is not necessarily a result of incest, marriage between close relatives can increase the chances of a child being born with albinism. Therefore having children with a relative is highly discouraged.
The body of people living with Albinism has little or no ability to produce the colour of the skin, hair and eyes. This colour is called “melanin”.
People with albinism tend to have more developmental difficulties only because of the vision problems and social pressures.
When you can’t read the blackboard or you’re ostracized from society and can’t go to a normal school, you often fall behind academically.This will affect their grades thereby reducing their chances of being employed and opportunities for societal integration.
Albinism is not a curse.