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Obaseki: Decentralization of Edo healthcare system’ll improve access to quality care for persons with albinism, others

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the ongoing decentralisation of the healthcare system and other reforms in the sector will enhance access to quality, efficient and affordable healthcare to vulnerable persons in the state including people with albinism.

Obaseki, who said this in commemoration of the International Albinism Awareness Day, marked on June 13, each year, urged stakeholders to support the government in providing the needed support for people with albinism.

He said, “In commemoration of the International Albinism Awareness Day, we restate our government’s commitment to the health and wellbeing of all residents, especially vulnerable persons, which include people with albinism. We are strengthening our healthcare system and are confident that the ongoing decentralization of the healthcare system and the implementation of programmes and reforms in the sector will help people with albinism access quality, efficient and affordable care.

“We urge people living with albinism and other vulnerable persons especially in rural areas to take advantage of the opportunities of the Edo Health Insurance Scheme and telemedicine programme by the government to access better and quality care in Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across the state so as to address their peculiar health challenge.”

Obaseki further charged, “Rights groups and other stakeholders should support the government in increasing awareness campaign and advocacy programmes that will lead to attitudinal change towards people with albinism, including myths, false beliefs and actions that sideline, stigmatise and threaten the existence of people with albinism.”

According to the United Nations, "The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in 2013 calling for the prevention of attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism. Moreover, in response to the call from civil society organizations advocating to consider persons with albinism as a specific group with particular needs that require special attention, the Council created the mandate of the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism.”