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Lions Club Donates Optical Devices to Persons with Albinism

By Andrew Ndhlovu

PS for Ministry of Gender, Isaac Katopola (C) receiving optical devices for learners with Albinism from Lions Club President, Pierre Mbaisa

Lilongwe, Mana: Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare has urged parents, guardians, community leaders and everyone else to ensure that learners and persons with albinism are protected and supported in order for them to achieve their goals in life.

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Gender, Isaac Katopola, made the remarks in Lilongwe on Wednesday when Lions Club of Capital City handed over 220 optical assist devices to the Association of Persons with Albinism (APAM) through Ministry of Gender.

He hailed the initiative, saying eye and skin problems associated with albinism are some of the challenges encountered, hence urging people to take care of persons with albinism.

He said if the challenges are not addressed then learners with albinism will still continue to experience such challenges hence the initiative.

“Learners with albinism are facing numerous challenges in fulfilling their aspirations in advancing their education. These challenges are also negatively impacting the country in achieving Goals number 3 and 4 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for sustainable development,” Katopola said.

Goal number 3 calls for governments to have healthy lives for its people as well as the promotion of the well-being of all at all ages. 

Goal number 4 talks about inclusive and equitable quality education and the promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all.

“For this reason, Ministry of Gender in collaboration with the Ministry of Health started a low vision and skin care school screening program for learners with albinism,” Katopola said.

Outgoing President of Lions Club of Capital City, Piere Ghasubilagha Mbisa, said the club wants to make partnership with Ministry of Gender in helping persons with albinism.

“We have been working with the Ministry of Health for a long time. They approached us asking if we can help them since they are facing challenges in assisting persons with albinism that they cannot afford to buy sunglasses once they prescribe to them.

“So we thought it wise to donate these optical assist devices since it is the responsible ministry looking after our brothers and sisters with albinism in the country,” Mbisa said.

He added that the Club received assistance from Canadian Vision Care and decided to partner with Ministry of Gender in helping persons with albinism.

“I want to assure the government that we are committed as Lions Club in helping the people who have sight problem in this country,” Mbisa said.

Currently, Government through ministries of Gender and Health are providing low and skin care services which includes glasses, sun screen lotion as well as health education on skin and eye care.

The program is currently being implemented in seven districts out of 28 districts in the country.

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