By KETRA KALUNGA
In a bid to end attacks against persons with albinism that in some cases end in loss of life, the Albinism Foundation of Zambia has embarked on a campaign to debunk the myths and misconceptions surrounding the condition.
National coordinator, Jethro Phiri said awareness programs were being conducted in different parts of the country especially in areas where cases of attacks against persons with albinism are on the increase.
Mr Phiri said in an interview that lack of adequate information on albinism has put many myths, beliefs and misconceptions on the condition.
He said violence and stigma aimed at people with albinism was widespread due to general ignorance and myths associated with the condition, resulting in discrimination, dehumanization and isolation.
“Most Zambians do not know much about albinism, therefore people have put many myths, beliefs and misconceptions on the condition and these beliefs are negative and do affect persons with albinism,” he said.
Mr Phiri said Zambia has at least 23 reported attacks on albinos, the last being the exhuming of a body of a 14 year old in Chama district in Eastern province by unknown people who chopped off his left hand.
He said to try and end attacks against persons with albinism in Zambia, the foundation has been advocating for the equal treatment of people with albinism.
Mr Mwanza said persons with albinism are concerned that they continue to be attacked in whether alive or dead.
He said the Albinism Foundation of Zambia was further advocating for expedited legal processes and ensuring that justice prevails among those found wanting .
Some of the common negative beliefs are that people with albinism are ghosts or have magical powers that they don’t die but just disappear and that their body parts can be used to acquire wealth.