Many people with albinism have skin and eyes much lighter than that of their family members. People with albinism often have vision problems and must take care to protect their skin from sunburn. Vision problems and protecting the skin are the biggest health problems for people with albinism. The lack of pigment makes eyes and skin very sensitive to sunlight and the skin prone to burning. Vision problems vary from person to person. Some people simply need glasses to correct their vision, but others need surgery. Some people can see well enough to drive a car, whereas others are legally blind. All people with albinism need consistent and continuing eye care.
Abas Ali Ibrahim, 17 years old Somali Refugee boy, living with albinism in Hagadera Refugee Camp. Abas is living with his family in block K9. The weather in Dadaab Refugee camps is not a friendly with albinisms but Abas and more then 25 albinisms friends are living in this condition in the camps. Handicap international (an Organization for person living with disability) was supporting such people with suns cream and cloths to wear against the sun the organization also strongly advice every Albino to protect his/her body from the sun’s rays by wearing long sleeved garments, caps or hats and if possible sunglasses but sunglasses were not provided as Abas told dadaabcamps.com team. Abas was learning one of the Primary schools in Hagadera Refugee Camp last year but left the school because of sight problems. As he told the dadaabcamps.com he said “I can’t read from a distance and if I move from my position to next to the blackboard students will start stigmatizing me so I decide to keep learning in such a challenging environment. He added that he talk to the concern Organization about sunglasses before they suspended there services in Dadaab camps and they told him that they are waiting feedback from UNHCR. Unfortunately it took him to wait for more then half a year to wait the feedback. Because of the insecurity in the camps, Handicap international couldn’t manage to come back and Abas and other children with albinism sever a lot” The young albinism children in my block and in the other camps of Dadaab received no suns cream for the last four month”. He decided to leave his Primary school. “Being the only albinism student in the hole camp I left the school because I prefer to join Youth Education Pack center (YEP) (a program that run by Norwegian Refugee Council in the three camps for the youth out of schools). I think I can get some skills that can help me like computer class, Secretarial and also tailoring skills and this are youth or adult I don’t think they will stigmatize and discriminate me like the children in primary schools.
In primary schools children go home for launch at 12:30 pm and are suppose to come back at 1:00pm. For me it was a difficult situation and I could go and come back because the sun is too hot and my skin is more fragile than that of other students but here in YEP-Center launch is provided by the organization no one will go out till evening is just like home. The only problem I am still facing is vision problems and luck of body lotion.
I appeal to every one who can help us get glasses for learning and body lotions no matter how the weather here is unsympathetic we are still strong to learn and make change our community.