Alarming Rise in Skin Cancer Threatens Lives of Albinos in Africa as COP28 Addresses Climate Change Impact

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Extreme Heat Puts Millions of Albinos at Risk in Africa: Urgent Calls for Action at COP28

The 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the Uinted Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is underway in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, raising concerns about the alarming impact of extreme heat on vulnerable communities.

In the arid regions of West Africa, including Kaduna, Nigeria, the lives of millions of individuals with albinism are under increasing threat due to the harsh weather conditions.

Comrade Abubakar Adam, the Chairman of the Association of Albinism in Kaduna State, expressed deep concern over the rising incidence of skin cancer and its devastating effects on the well-being of albinos.

During an interview with Ibrahima Yakubu, Head of Communication and Strategies at the non-governmental organization African Climate Reporters,

Chairman Adam revealed the dire consequences of climate change on albinos. He lamented the recent loss of three lives in Kaduna State, two in Kajuru local government, and one in Zaria, all attributed to climate change-related issues, including skin cancer.

“People with albinism lack melanin in their skin, making them more susceptible to sunburn and skin cancer,” Adam emphasized. “We are witnessing an increase in skin-related illnesses, adding to the challenges of our already difficult lives.”

The Association of Albinism has launched an ongoing campaign to educate parents of children with albinism in the state.

The organization is also focused on raising awareness about the high cost of living affecting most adults with albinism, who struggle to work during the day due to the intense heat.

“We often seek refuge under trees or umbrellas to shield our skin from burning,” Adam explained, highlighting the need for protective measures against the harsh effects of climate change.

The organization is actively sensitizing parents about the importance of ensuring their children wear protective clothing to safeguard their skin from the sun. Moreover, they are intensifying efforts to raise awareness about cancer prevention among the albino community.

Ibrahima Yakubu a science journalist, responding to the situation, stated that African Climate Reporters, in collaboration with the African Institutes of Waste and Environmental Studies and other scientific institutions, will organize a sensitization campaign in the state. The initiative aims to mobilize science, climate, and environmental journalists, along with other stakeholders, to raise awareness among the general public.

Yakubu further revealed that representatives of African Climate Reporters are currently attending the United Nations International Conference on Climate Change. They will present a report on the challenges faced by albinos in Africa, seeking to draw attention to their plight during the two-week-long conference.


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