BY OBERT SIAMILANDU
PUBLIC health expert Brighton Chizhande has warned that people with albinism could be affected by chronic skin irritation due to climate change conditions, which have seen the country experiencing very harsh weather conditions.
Chizhande told NewsDay on the sidelines of a capacity-building workshop on climate change, which was held last week in Bulawayo, that people with albinism were susceptible to the effects of high temperatures during the summer season.
He said that posed risks of skin diseases due to changes in climate.
“People with albinism should ensure they protect themselves from the sun’s direct radiation as the current high temperatures due to climate change could lead to more chronic diseases and irritation,” Chizhande said.
Albinism Alive Initiative secretary-general Brian Sithole added: “Some people with albinism live far away from water sources, thus they have to travel long distances in search of water, which then exposes them to sun burn. Sun screen lotions are essential for people with albinism and government must ensure that they get them at no cost so that they can protect their skin from irritation.”
Sithole said other items that should be provided for free to people with albinism included protective clothing such as sun hats, umbrellas, and clothes that cover as much of the body as possible.
He said dermatological services should be easily available and affordable to people with albinism.