The Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) for the first time is celebrating International Albinism Awareness Day to raise awareness on persons with albinism and the issues they face in their everyday life. On December 18, 2014, the United Nations’ General Assembly adopted a resolution establishing June 13th as International Albinism Awareness Day which confirmed the global focus on albinism advocacy.
With this year’s theme, “Made to Shine”, PDF wishes to salute and acknowledge persons with albinism on their contribution to society despite the various types of discrimination they face.
In the Pacific, it is believed that one in seven hundred is persons with albinism. Albinism affects the skin, hair and eyes forcing persons with the condition to have vision problems, with their skin vulnerable when directly or indirectly exposed to the sun.
This leads to sunburn and may transform into skin cancer. PDF Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Setareki Macanawai says that, persons with albinism when facing an inaccessible environment and negative attitude from those around them greatly impact and hinders their full and effective participation in society and prevents them from utilizing their abilities and potentials.
PDF is standing in solidarity with Pacific people with albinism and all those with the condition through their challenges. Mr. Macanawai added that, “while the world is going through unprecedented time, people with albinism continue to face all types of human rights violations which included challenges in accessing quality healthcare services during this pandemic, accessing sunscreen due to availability, accessibility and affordability and other non-pharmaceutical intervention.”