The Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare has said the National Action Plan (NAP) on persons with albinism is ready and will be launched during this year’s International Albinism Awareness Day (IAAD) commemoration on June 23.
The news has excited the United Nations (UN), which has advised government to ensure that the plan is implemented to protect persons with albinism who are living in fear of attacks.
“The UN is hopeful that the new plan will be implemented to accommodate all critical gaps and address the existing socio-economic challenges faced by persons with albinism,” said Clara Anyangwe, UN Women country director.
She was speaking during a press briefing at the Central Office of Information (COI) in Lilongwe ahead of the IAAD which is scheduled to take place at Mwenelondo Primary School ground in Karonga.
In her remarks, Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Jean Kalilani said Karonga has been strategically selected for being one of the border districts where attacks on persons with albinism are linked to foreign nationals.
“One of the challenges in the fight against perpetrated attacks on persons with albinism in the country are cases involving other nationals, especially from Mozambique and Tanzania. The commemoration was in Ntcheu (bordering Mozambique) last year and it is being taken to Karonga as it borders Tanzania,” said Kalilani.
While appreciating the completion of the NAP, National Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) national coordinator Boniface Massa asked the ministry to consider allocating enough resources to programmes of persons with albinism.
“This is a good step and we are encouraged, but this is just a plan which needs commitment and resources to be implemented. We ask that you consider allocating enough resources towards our programmes,” he said.
The UN in Malawi has supported government in implementing the previous National Albinism Response Plan through the UN Human Rights Window which has been reviewed into the NAP.