People with albinism with new long-sleeved shirts
Over the past quarter your donations through GlobalGiving have made an immense difference to the lives and prospects of people with albinism in Uganda. Your support has contributed to skin clinics, life-saving skin cancer operations and provision of resources to help people protect their skin.
During one of the skin clinics directly supported by your donations, the SNUPA team reported ‘The skin cancer prevention project continuously restores hope to many persons with albinism and their families. It also builds community awareness and positions persons with albinism to take part in community activities through their increased self-confidence.’
On June 13th we held our annual commemoration of International Albinism Awareness Day (IAAD) in Jinja, which enabled 700 children and adults with albinism, plus families, advocates and local and national leaders to come together to raise awareness of the challenges faced by people living with the condition. A lively march through the city was followed by a campaigning event alongside which we held a large skin clinic and distributed protective resources including sunscreen, wide-brimmed hats and long-sleeved clothing. Thanks to your support we were able to provide 175 people with albinism with long-sleeved shirts to help them stay safe from the sun.
Your donations have also contributed to urgently needed skin cancer surgery for six young people with albinism. All had fast-growing, life-threatening skin cancer and your support has completely transformed their circumstances from utter despair to hope that they can now lead full and healthy lives. The people who received treatment included a young woman called Robinah. Before travelling across Uganda to attend the clinic at our International Albinism Awareness Day commemoration mentioned above, she had never previously had access to sunscreen or skin checks. Thanks to your support we were able to quickly arrange treatment for the large cancerous lesions on her neck and chest and she is now making a good recovery.
At another of our skin clinics, the mother of 14-year old Ludra told us ‘Ludra's skin was affected due to the long distances he moves to access school. I’m worried that if his skin is not attended to, he may lose his life. Please help my boy.’ Thanks to you we were indeed able to help Ludra have an urgent operation to remove the cancerous and growing lesion on his head. He is now back at school with new-found confidence and keeping safe with protective clothing and a regular supply of sunscreen.
While our key focus is on skin cancer prevention, and this is significantly reducing the incidence of skin cancer cases recorded at our clinics, there is still great need among people with albinism who have never before accessed such services, as in the case of Robinah, and are now urgently seeking help. This includes Kintu, a 37-year old single mother of three children. She recently attended one of our clinics in Pallisa district for the first time and the SNUPA team has alerted us to the need for urgent surgery to address the spreading skin cancer on her face. The team told us that Kintu was very discouraged, ‘According to her, she had no hope of getting any help from anywhere’, and she has agreed to share her photo.
Please continue to support our work and help end skin cancer among people with albinism in Uganda. It would be wonderful if you would also share these stories and needs with family, friends and colleagues who may be interested. You are making a world of difference - helping to save lives, preventing children from being orphaned, giving students the confidence to return to school and restoring hope in families and communities. Thank you!
June 13 International Albinism Awareness Day march
Young teenager Ludra before his surgery
Young boy trying out a long-sleeved shirt at IAAD
Busy skin clinic in progress
Kintu who requires urgent support