Lesotho: Persons with Albinism Need Critical Health Care

While progress has been made in raising awareness and advocating for the rights of persons with albinism in Lesotho, significant challenges remain.

Development Diaries reports that people with albinism still face stigma and discrimination due to colour and visual impairment and lack of access to health care, according to findings by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

In light of these challenges, it has become necessary for the Lesotho government to prioritise removing barriers impeding the rights of persons with albinism

One of the biggest challenges for people with albinism in Lesotho is the prevalent societal stigma and discrimination they face.

Many people hold misconceptions about albinism, associating it with curses or supernatural beliefs. This stigma leads to social exclusion, bullying, and even violence against individuals with albinism.

Also, access to adequate health care is a significant barrier for people with albinism in Lesotho. Due to their unique medical needs, such as increased susceptibility to skin cancer and vision problems, individuals with albinism require specialised health care services.

However, these services are usually limited or unavailable in rural areas, where many people with albinism reside.

While Lesotho has made progress in recognising the rights of people with disabilities, including those with albinism, enforcement of these protections may be lacking.

Laws and policies aimed at combating discrimination and promoting inclusion need to be strictly enforced to ensure equal rights and opportunities for all.

We agree with the UN Expert on albinism, Muluka-Anne Miti-Drummond, on the need to step up efforts to support, equip and empower persons with albinism.

Addressing the barriers faced by this vulnerable group requires a multi-faceted approach involving government intervention, community education, and advocacy efforts aimed at promoting acceptance, improving health care access, ensuring inclusive education, and combating discrimination in all its forms.

Development Diaries calls on the Lesotho Ministry of Health to adopt concrete measures focused on the specific needs of persons with albinism to create a more inclusive society where people with albinism can thrive and fulfil their potential.

Source: OHCHR

Photo source: UN


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