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Albinos Reps approve establishment of agency for affected Nigerians

A bill to cater for the needs of albinos and others with related conditions passed through second reading in House of Reps.

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Albino children queue to receive factor-50 sunscreen in Mitindo Primary School in Nyawilimilwa, Mwanza region of Tanzania, November 21, 2009. REUTERS/Katrina Manson play Albino children queue to receive factor-50 sunscreen in Mitindo Primary School in Nyawilimilwa, Mwanza region of Tanzania, November 21, 2009. REUTERS/Katrina Manson

A bill for the establishment of National Agency for Albinism and Hypo-pigmentation (NAAH) has passed second reading at the House of Representatives.

The bill, which is expected to cater for the needs of albinos and others with related conditions passed through second reading on Thursday, January 19, 2017.

The proposed law, titled “A bill for an Act to provide for the establishment of the National Agency for Albinism and Hypo-pigmentation (NAAH) and other related matters’’, was sponsored by Rep. Linus Okorie (PDP-Ebonyi).

According to the National Organisation for Albinism and Hypo-pigmentation, albinism is a group of genetic conditions that causes lack of pigmentation in the skin.

This genetic condition can affect only the eyes (ocular albinism) or both the eyes and skin (oculocutaneous albinism), as well as affect hairs.

“However, most types of albinism are inherited when an individual receives the albinism gene from both parents.

“Affected people have white skin and hair and in some cases, reddish eyes.”

Leading debate on the bill, Okorie said that majority of the people with albinism were often the butt of rude jokes by people as they were being taunted wherever they went.

He said that persons living with albinism in Nigeria endured a lot of daily social challenges due to the colour of their hair and skin.

He therefore stressed that there was absolute need to establish the agency so that adequate care would be given to the affected persons.

The bill was unanimously passed through second reading by members through a voice vote. 

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