First Fiji Albinism Awareness Symposium
Minister for health and medical services Mr Jone Usamate with Margot Whitfeld (second from left) and other participants at the symposium.
The Hon. Minister for Health & MedicalServices Mr Jone Usamate officially opened the first Fiji Albinism Awareness Symposium at the Holiday Inn in Suva.
This 2 day seminar was about promoting albinism awareness and education, and will enable more people to learn about the health components of albinism. It will also enable relevant authorities to support people with albinism so that they can lead full and supported lives.
Albinism is a rare genetic disorder that causes the skin, hair, or eyes to have little or no colour. People with albinism are at risk of developing skin cancer and have low vision problems.
One of the objectives of this program is to establish qualitative data on the numbers of people with albinism in Fiji, to identify the exact numbers and the demographic distribution of this condition. This will help the Health Ministry and the Ministry of Education to direct the correct resources to meet the needs of the people with albinism. Much needed awareness will also be raised particularly around skin, health and low vision support.
“Inclusion of all people is one of the basic philosophies of the Fiji Government and this symposium was planned by the Fiji Albinism Project steering committee based at Mataika House”, said Mr Usamate.
The group discussions on the second day of the symposium will enable participants to come up with new ideas from a multi-sectorial point of view, with ways to support people with albinism, for review and analysis by the Fiji Government.
Mr Usamate added that this will have the potential to dramatically improve the health, education and quality of life of those important members of our community with albinism.
This program is supported The Australian College of Dermatologists, Australian Private Sector Donors, St Vincents Hospital Sydney and the Pulse Programme GSK