CLOSE to 200 people living with albinism in Matabeleland North province flocked to Binga to receive free eye-screening, sunglasses, sun screen lotions and hats provided by platinum mining company, Zimplats on Wednesday.
By Nokuthaba Dlamini
According to the Zimbabwe Albino Association Matabeleland region director Sanders Munsaka, the campaign saw close to 200 people living with albinism coming from Hwange, Lupane and Binga and surrounding communities converging at Manjolo business centre.
“It was a busy day. We are humbled by the communities’ response. We had close to 200 albinos who came forward, while the community members were almost a thousand. We are glad that Zimplats stretched its hand and helped these vulnerable people. It is something that will go a long way, considering that most of them come from rural communities.
“We gave them sun creams, eye protector glasses, hats and T-shirts and the gratitude was humbling. Unfortunately, we could not manage to do skin cancer screening, but we advised them to go to Chegutu Hospital, where they can be tested and treated for free. So far, Binga has picked 10 that tested positive and they being treated in Chegutu.”
The communities were educated on how to treat people with albinism.
In an interview, Sandra Chigavadzira, from Chinotimba, said it was her first time to receive such treatment and was expecting better care from the community.
“Victoria Falls is very hot and my skin hardly adapts. I ended up stopping going to school because I was discriminated and was often reminded of how different I was with other students. My eyes pop and they become red and my skin gets dry whenever I run out of sun cream. My mother works in a hotel, so she gets sun lotions left by tourists for me, but those lotions won’t be suitable for my skin at times and I react badly. So what they gave us will go a long way as it shall ease and soothe our skins.”
Munsaka said they will take their campaign to other districts.