Health Local

Albinos in Kasese Advocate for Acceptance and Fight Against Misconceptions

BY ROBERT KYEYA

People living with albinism in Kasese district have urged communities to embrace their appearances with love, just like any other individuals on Earth.

During a one-day training session at Kasese Municipal Headquarters in Kasese Town, Augustine Mulhumbira from Buhuhira in Busongora North highlighted that many people in communities mistreat albinos, considering them as unfortunate, forgetting that they are created by God just the way they are.

Mulhumbira emphasized that albinos have faced human sacrifice, which has left them in constant fear for their lives. He condemned this practice and urged parents to allow albinos to experience equal opportunities in the community by not marginalizing or isolating them or subjecting them to cultural sacrifices.

“People with albinism are often devalued and even ritually sacrificed in shrines,” Mulhumbira expressed.

He further appealed to non-governmental organizations to take a stand and fight against threats faced by people living with albinism in Uganda.

Stella Kabugho, 23, from Rugendabara in Busongora North, Kasese district, also highlighted that young albino women face sexual harassment due to a false belief that having sexual intercourse with an albino woman can cure AIDS.

“We face a significant problem where people believe that having sexual relations with an albino woman can cure AIDS, which is completely false,” Stella stated.

Stella added that some families still hold the superstition that a boy marrying an albino girl brings a curse upon the entire family.

“We are denied the opportunity to marry our loved ones, and some families advise our husbands to divorce us. They don’t realize that we also experience heartbreak like any other girl,” Stella added.

Meres Biira, speaking from years of experience, pointed out that communities often have misconceptions about albinos, associating them with supernatural powers.

Biira clarified that the belief that albinos disappear and reappear when playing a xylophone is entirely false. She urged caretakers and well-informed friends to defend their albino colleagues against the societal pressures that stigmatize them.

In an exclusive interview, former Member of Parliament for Kasese Municipality, Mr. Robert Franko Centenary, emphasized that albinism is a natural occurrence and part of God’s design, just like being born with brown or black skin.

Centenary emphasized that albinos have body parts, just like any other able-bodied individuals. There is no reason to segregate them because they did not choose their appearance; hence, they deserve love and care unconditionally.

“We should not segregate albinos in our daily lives because they are just like us,” Centenary expressed.

He added that the only challenge faced by albinos is the sun’s heat, which affects their melanin and makes them more susceptible to sunburn. He clarified that the difference in their skin is scientific, not cultural. Centenary called upon the masses to show love and care for albinos
with a sense of brotherhood.

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