Saturday, 29 July 2017

‘Albinos still live in fear despite decline in attacks’

From Daily News, Dar es Salaam

ATTACKS against people with albinism, those living in rural areas continue to live in fear amid presence of root causes that led to violence against them in the past.

The remarks were made yesterday in Dar es Salaam by the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism, Ms Ikonwosa Ero, at the end of her 11-day visit to Tanzania.

“People with albinism continue to live in a very fragile situation as the root causes of the attacks against them remain rampant and the effects of over a decade of violations have taken their toll,” she noted.

Ms Ero said more work must be done to address witchcraft and sensitize community members on the importance of protecting people with albinism instead of harassing, killing or raping them.

She further praised the government for its effort to tackle the issue, which is rooted in the mistaken belief that certain body parts of people living with albinism bring good luck and prosperity. Albinism is a rare genetic condition, which affects the pigment in the eyes, hair and skin.

In the US, about 1 person in 17,000 has albinism. In Africa the prevalence is estimated to range between 1 in 1,100 to 1 in 15,000. But in Tanzania, the rate is much higher - about 1 in every 1,400.

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