HomeCover StoriesEXCLUSIVE: How climate change contributes to albino deaths - Kano Albinos official

EXCLUSIVE: How climate change contributes to albino deaths – Kano Albinos official

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Haj Mariya Ishaka is the National Vice President of the Albino Association of Nigeria. In this Interview, she speaks to DailyNews24’s reporter Farida Usman on the challenges of living with albinism, especially the effects of climate change on the skin condition. Excerpts:

Can you please introduce yourself?

My Name is Hajiya Mariya Ishaka. I am the National Vice President of the Albino Association of Nigeria.

Recently, an official in the association of Albinos has raised alarm on the negative effects of climate change on Albinism. What’s your view?

Yes of course, climate change affects our skin especially when there is excess heat. When the heat from the sun affects the skin, it could result in skin cancer. And also during the harmattan season our skins dry, crack and become wrinkled. This is why we prefer rainy season because we do not face such challenges.

What is the cream that albinos normally use to protect their skin?

The cream we use is Sunscreen with ultraviolet rays.

With the rising cost of living in Nigeria, are you able to afford the cream?

Most of us are unable to afford the cream because it is an imported product, and since it’s imported you definitely know the price rate is high. But for almost 2-3 years now, I have been making a wide research on how to make a local one here in Nigeria which the albinos can afford to buy.

Also read: Albinos blame rise in skin cancer on climate change

How much is the price of the imported cream?

They are of different prices ranging from N12,000, N16,000, and N45,000 depending on your choice.

How affordable will you make the local one if you succeed in producing it?

Well, let’s say N4,000 or N5,000 only. It would also last longer than the imported one due to it’s quantity.

Do albinos lose their lives during harsh weather conditions?

Of course, a lot of lives are been lost because few days ago we lost a fellow albino here in Kano state. In fact we’ve lost a lot of albinos this year (2023) all as a result of weather related conditions.

What do you think was responsible for the deaths?

Well, all of this is happening due to lack of awareness and secondly, the high cost of living and lack of financial assistance. For instance, it is very difficult for most albinos to afford the sunscreen cream.

Do you get any government support for albinos as an association?

Concerning our health issues, the government and non governmental organization (NGOs) are not assisting us in any way.

What advice can you give to your fellow albinos and the general public on issues related to albinism?

First of all, I will like to urge the general public to please stop harassing and maltreating us, most especially at home from our parents and relatives.

We are also humans like everyone else, so please treat us with love and care. Secondly, The government and NGO’s should give us maximum help and support.

Lastly, we should also focus on creating awareness in order to prevent the lost of lives and leave the rest to Almighty Allah.

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