The challenges faced by people with the genetic condition of albinism in Uganda include extreme vulnerability to skin cancer and widespread discrimination. Advantage Africa's project, in partnership with the Source of the Nile Union of Persons with Albinism, will prevent life-threatening skin cancer by providing skin clinics, hats, sunscreen, cryotherapy and surgery. It will prevent hundreds of needless early deaths among people with albinism and enable them to lead long and fulfilling lives.
People with albinism in Uganda are highly vulnerable to skin cancer because they lack the protective pigment melanin in their skin. They also lack basic medical care and the resources needed to protect themselves. Skin cancer, although completely avoidable, is currently the foremost cause of death of people with albinism in Uganda, and average life expectancy without protection is just 30 years. Their specific needs are currently overlooked in national health policies, spending and provision.
The project will hold regular skin clinics for 500 people with albinism in Uganda. The clinics will provide people with albinism with training to keep safe from the sun, skin checks, cryotherapy to remove pre-cancerous lesions, sunscreen, wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses. The demand for our skin clinics, and for skin cancer surgery, is greater than our current resources allow - so with your help we aim to reach 500 more people with these protective and life-saving services by 2023.
We're committed to a 'cancer free generation' of people with albinism in Uganda. By expanding the reach of our clinics, the project will enable us to share powerful evidence for national policies that will help end the early, avoidable and painful deaths of people with albinism from skin cancer. The project will also provide the foundation to partner with the Ugandan Ministry of Health to sustainably produce affordable high SPF sunscreen for the estimated 12,000+ people with albinism in Uganda.