INFORMATION, Publicity and Broadcasting Services deputy minister, Honorable Energy Mutodi says government will not tolerate any form of discrimination against people living with albinism and warned corporates against denying people with albinism employment opportunities.
By Michael Gwarisa
Officiating at the second edition of the Albinism health fair that was hosted by Global Aid Missions (GAM) in partnership with the Population Services International (PSI) and Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC), Minister Mutodi said it was high time the country moves away from traditional beliefs which used to discriminate against people living with albinism.
“Back in the day, giving birth to a baby with albinism was taboo and babies born with albinism would at times be killed or hidden from the public. Now times have changed, we need to move away from discriminating against people living with albinism.
“Let me reiterate that the second republic which is being led by President Emerson Mnangagwa will not tolerate any forms of discrimination against people living with albinism. In line with our constitution which does not allow any forms of discrimination, let me call upon companies and business to stop discriminating against people living with albinism. No one should be denied a job because of the color of his skin or disability,” said Minister Mutodi.
The albinism health fair also coincided with the International Albinism Awareness Day commemorations which was running under the theme, “Still Standing Strong.”
“People with disabilities make up an estimated 15% of the world’s population. They are a population at risk of discrimination, stigmatisation, HIV, unintended pregnancies and sexual abuse, yet they are often overlooked when it comes to health program services.
“The common perception is that people with albinism and other disabilities are not in need of information, prevention and services,” added minister Mutodi.
Meanwhile, it has been noted that people with albinism and other disabilities have low level of knowledge towards healthcare services available to them and how to make use of their rights in accessing mainstream healthcare services.
“Their access of mainstream healthcare services is often accompanied by discrimination and stigmatisation hence leading to the hindrance of fulfilling service.”
In 2013, the United Nations Passed a resolution calling for the prevention of attacks and discrimination against people with albinism to come to an end.
In Zimbabwe however, the Global Aid Mission has opened a health center to cater for people living with albinism to ensure they get comprehensive Sexual Reproductive Health services under one roof.