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State support for Fijians with albinism

Avneel Chand
Monday, December 04, 2017

FIJIANS affected with albinism will get special attention from Government through the provision of support and resources that will enable them to function as normal people.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum made the commitment last week as he set out a vision for albinism at a meeting in Suva with the UN's Independent Expert on enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism, Ikponwasa Ero.

On the agenda of the discussion was the complexity associated with albinism and the unique obstacles faced by Fijians living with the condition.

The meeting also discussed solutions to ease their integration into society.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Government looked forward to working with the office of the Independent Expert to ensure progressive realisation of rights of persons with albinism and disabilities.

"Fiji strives to set a bold example in inclusive development by ingraining equal opportunity into our economic growth," he said.

During the discussions, he also highlighted that Fiji recently ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

He distinguished that albinism in itself was not considered a disability in the same vein as a physical difference, such as a spinal injury.

Meanwhile, Ms Ero said persons with albinism were usually sensitive to sunlight, and thereby more prone to skin cancer, which can pose a particular risk in tropical climates such as Fiji.

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