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Activists Want Sunscreen Lotions Listed As Essential Medicines :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Activists Want Sunscreen Lotions Listed As Essential Medicines

A sunscreen lotion is very important for people with Albinism to avoid damage to the skin from the sun but it is not listed as part of the essential medicines in Uganda.
The 1st deputy premier, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga (in pink African print wear) shares a photo moment with activists for persons living with albinism.
Politicians and activists want the Ministry of Health to list sunscreen lotions among essential medicines at lower health facilities. They say that will ease access for persons living with albinism. 

A sunscreen lotion is very important for people with Albinism to avoid damage to the skin from the sun but it is not listed as part of the essential medicines in Uganda.

This call was made during the celebrations to commemorate 10 years since the United Nations declared the 13th, of June as the International Albinism Awareness Day (IAAD).

This year's celebrations were held at the Jinja district headquarters on Thursday, where persons with albinism raised the challenge of inadequate funds to remotely purchase sunscreen lotions, which cost between 25,000-50,000 Shillings each.

Peter Ogik, the executive director of the Source of the Nile Union of Persons Living with Albinism-SNUPA says that their organization distributes free sunscreen lotions, but they cannot suffice the need.

Ogik notes that they supply clients from as far as Kasese and Arua, but the one tin of sunscreen lotion offered to each of their members can only cover them for two months, leaving them with a deficit of five tins to cater for the rest of the 10 months.

Ogik said lack of melanin is a form of human body inefficiency, requiring government interventions like provision of free sunscreen lotions to safeguard their citizens from skin cancer.

Joseph Mukose, the leader of persons living with albinism in Bugiri district says that, much as the government scrapped taxes from sunscreen lotions there is a need to have them as part of the essential drugs available at all public health facilities.

Mukose said their members mainly get access to those lotions through donations from abroad. He explained that reliance on support from NGOs is not sustainable because most of them tend to abruptly end their support.

The First Deputy Premier, Rebecca Kadaga who presided over the event said that most of the persons living with albinism are still struggling with the burden of stigmatization. She said it is inevitable for the Ministry of Health to earmark a suitable line treatment for them.

Kadaga further stresses the need for the Ministry of Health to dispatch dermatologists to health center IIIs, where they can be accessible to all persons living with albinism within the grassroots communities.

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