Minister of Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare, Patrick Zhuwao has promised to table the issue of cheaper and accessible medication for people living albinism to cabinet saying they should be recognized and not stigmatized.
Speaking at the launch of friends with albinism campaign held in Harare last week Zhuwao called for clear policies for people living with albinism adding their medication (sunscreen) should be subsidized and distributed in the same manner ARVs are managed.
“Let’s actively recognize people with albinism but as we actively recognize them, we must recognize that they are stigmatized and we must recognize what they have gone through and we must compensate what some of our friends and fellow citizens have done to them.
“To those who said albinism medication should be distributed in the same manner done to ARVs, l promise you that l will take that to the cabinet and make sure that there will be a policy which talks about that,” said Zhuwao.
He noted that people living with albinism were facing a lot of challenges in society including rejection, stigmatization, problems he said he is committed to address during his tenure as Minister of Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare.
“Some of the people living with albinism have spoken about how their mothers were chased away from home when they gave birth to a child with albinism and that others were afraid of being in a relationship because of their condition and ended up being forced into early marriage, so there is need for policies that protects those people.
He applauded those involved in championing the rights for people living with albinism saying they be recognized and allowed to be part of representatives of people living with disabilities.
“There are about 39000 people living with albinism in Zimbabwe and my question is where are those people, who is looking after them and how are they surviving?” quizzed Zhuwao.
He expressed his commitment to fight for their rights sayi
“We need to recognize everyone who is involved in championing the rights for people living with disabilities and as the Ministry we stand with you for whatever you are doing since it is also the state’s responsibility to look after people living with disabilities,” he said.