Persons with Albinism refute claims of free skin cancer treatment by govt forces

Persons with Albinism (PWA) under the aegis of Disability Inclusion Centre (DIC) and The Albino Network Association in Nigeria (TANA), has refuted claims by Jake Epelle, the founder of the Albino Foundation that the Federal Government (FG) intervened on skin cancer treatment for its members at the National Hospital Abuja (NHA). In a Press Briefing on Wednesday, in Ado-Ekiti, Muyiwa Abegunde, Media lead for DIC, denounced a recent publication by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) made by Epelle claiming that 5,500 Albinism Skin Cancer Patients have been treated by NHA for more than 30 million naira.

Persons with Albinism refute claims of free skin cancer treatment by govt forces
Persons with Albinism (PWA) under the aegis of Disability Inclusion Centre (DIC) and The Albino Network Association in Nigeria (TANA), has refuted claims by Jake Epelle, the founder of the Albino Foundation that the Federal Government (FG) intervened on skin cancer treatment for its members at the National Hospital Abuja (NHA). In a Press Briefing on Wednesday, in Ado-Ekiti, Muyiwa Abegunde, Media lead for DIC, denounced a recent publication by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) made by Epelle claiming that 5,500 Albinism Skin Cancer Patients have been treated by NHA for more than 30 million naira. He said, “There is a statement on Sunday, 13th March 2022 that the Chief Executive Officer of the Albino Foundation, Mr Jake Epelle, says his foundation has referred 5,500 persons with Albinism, Skin Cancer to the NHA for treatment of which people says the data given is totally wrong. “If this is true, we are calling him within seven days to come out with the accurate data, the names of those albinos who have been referred to NHA between 2017 and 2022 and publish their names irrespective of State.” He charged the FG to direct all funds meant for people living with disabilities to the ‘National Commission for Persons with Disabilities’ rather than granting general funds or grants to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) like the Albino Foundation. Also, Nnnene Bassey, the President of Advocacy for Persons with Albinism, who also doubles as the cluster head for Persons with Albinism in JONAPWD, Akwa Ibom Chapter, described the claim as selfish while charging the general public to enable people with disabilities effectively and fully participate in political and public life on equal basis. In her words, “That is not the truth, he is looking for persons with Albinism for his own selfish and self-centred interest. According to the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, an international human rights treaty of the United Nations, article 29 says that persons with disabilities should effectively and fully participate in political and public life on equal basis with others, directly or through freely, chosen Representatives. They have the right to vote and be elected.” Onyemaechi Constance, Leader of Person’s with Albinism, Abuja demanded the availability of accurate statistics for the public while the health care for skin cancer should cut across the country with equity. “Data should be made available to the public, names while we also appoint independent bodies to confirm it. Also, the skin cancer treatment shouldn’t be political, it should cut across all Health cares for albinos.” She said