Adventist Journal Online | A future for a brave girl

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In Tanzania, ADRA helps marginalized people with albinism.

Anna is a six year old girl living in Tanzania. Although born with albinism, she is a charming and confident girl.

Anna lives with her mother and grandmother and is the only child in the household. Asked about her genetic condition, Anna throws her head back and laughs, saying: It[my grandmother]love me as i am.

At a young age, Anna is unaware of the dangers faced by people with albinism (PWA) in Tanzania. She is unaware of the ritual amputations and killings, especially of children, which began to spread in Tanzania in the late 2000s. She does not know that across the country PWA are considered “human beings.” haunted ”.

Anna’s biggest fear isn’t albinism. His greatest fear is that he will not be able to go to school to continue his studies beyond elementary school.

To raise awareness of the risks of skin cancer and help reduce its prevalence in people with albinism, ADRA Canada, in cooperation with ADRA Tanzania and other partners, launched the Early Skin Cancer Awareness, Prevention and Engagement project ( ESCAPE).

In this project, ADRA is distributing much-needed sunscreen, engaging communities in a public awareness campaign, and working with local dermatologists and public health agencies to rapidly detect and treat skin cancer in PWAs in six regions of Tanzania.

Albinism in Tanzania

Albinism, which affects up to 30,000 people in Tanzania, is an inherited genetic disease that reduces the amount of melanin pigment formed in the skin, hair and eyes. It leads to poor vision and a predisposition to skin cancer. This cancer, called the silent killer of people with albinism, cuts their average life expectancy to just 40 years.

PWA in Africa are among the most marginalized and vulnerable communities on the continent. Since 2006, more than 75 PWA have been murdered because of superstition, while more than 150 other cases of violations have been reported. PWAs have been “hunted” by people who believe albino body parts would bring them luck.

“ADRA has worked with PWA for the past four decades, focusing primarily on education,” said James Bisheko, ADRA’s programs manager in Tanzania. “[The agency also] works with the prevention, detection and treatment of skin cancer, ”he added.

the original version of this story was published by the Adventist Relief and Development Agency in Canada.

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