The Parliament Week 2020 has kicked off with the fundraising charity walk where Shs54 million has been raised towards the establishment of a rehabilitation and establishment of community centre for persons with albinism. The charity walk was part of the several activities to mark this year’s Parliament Week which runs from January 20-24, 2020.
Participants including Members of Parliament and the general public were led by the Speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga, Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Betty Aol Acan and Government Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa. They walked from Parliament Building into the city centre and back to the starting point.
The Speaker expressed her concern that despite of an earlier recommendation to remove taxes on sunscreens and other equipment that aid persons with albinism mitigate health conditions, taxes haven’t practically been removed. Sunscreen Lotion helps people living with Albinism against the sun rays that cause cancer.
“Albinism is only a genetic condition inherited from both parents and it is not contagious. The misconception that people with it are cursed needs to end as it stigmatizes those suffering from it.” She said.
Government Chief Whip vowed to be the champion for Albino causes in the Cabinet. “I will see to it that taxes are removed from sunscreens which persons with albinism find costly and I will be making a monthly contribution of One Million Shillings” she said.
Dr. Olive Namutebi, president Albinism Association said they are concerned with limited access to treatment for conditions associated with albinism. A recent study conducted in 10 districts found out that 72 persons had an issue with eyesight but only two per cent had received treatment. So far Sub Saharan Africa has over 8725 Albinos and the high incidence is 1 : 4.
She pleaded with all Government bodies to join Parliament in advocating for their wellbeing adding that Persons with albinism say they still face widespread marginalization amidst costly equipment required to mitigate the effect of sunlight.
The Clerk to Parliament, Jane Kibirige that they have so far mobilized the required funds to purchase the plot of land for the albino community centre. About Shs5 billion is needed for build the centre.