Across many countries in Africa, people with albinism, including children, are attacked and killed due to their appearance. In Haiti, children with albinism suffer from discrimination daily, preventing them from attending school. Since the 1990s, at least 190 people with albinism have been murdered and 300 attacked across 27 countries in Africa, the most in Tanzania.
In Europe, 1 in 20,000 people have albanism. In Tanzania about 1 in 1,400 people.
Providing Scholarships for Children with Albinism
Working with the Tumure Foundation, a local Rwandan NGO specializing in education and Father Bonaventure, founder of the Rwanda Albanism Society, NYDG will support approximately 20 children with albinism to attend high school in January 2018.
Humanitarian Medical Mission
More than 2 decades after the end of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, healthcare has received vigorous support by the Rwandan Government under President Paul Kagame. President Kagame has been in office since 2000. For example, healthcare spending went from 1.6 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product in 1996 to 6.5 percent in 2013. The country’s progress can be seen on a number of heath care indicators. Based onWorld Bank reports, between 2005 and 2013, life expectancy increased from 55 to 64 years and under-5 mortality decreased from 106 to 52 per 1000 live births.
Dermatology/venereology, however, is among the areas where there is a clear need of improvement in the country. The Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Kigali (CHUK), the teaching hospital for doctors pursuing specialization in the various medical fields does not offer dermatology. Medical students wanting to study dermatology must study abroad, for example in South Africa or Tanzania. As of March 2017, there were only 8 board-certified dermatologists (4 men and 4 women) and 3 dermatology officers (graduates of a 24-month diploma course at the Regional Dermatology Training Centre in Tanzania) that were given the task of caring for more than 11 million Rwandans. It most be noted that Rwanda’s population density at 445 inhabitants per square kilometers is among the highest in Africa.
General practitioners handle most of the dermatological conditions in other district hospitals with no training in dermatology. Most Rwandans go practically without qualified dermatological care. The need for specialized care is high. As several studies in developing countries have demonstrated, about 30% of all patients who consult a general physician complain about symptoms that fall into the field of dermatology/venereology.
NYDG Surgical Mission
NYDG surgical missions focus first on people that have been victims of violence and abuse. The organization recognizes the special needs of people who suffer violence. The surgical missions may serve to aid in the healing.
In March 2018, NYDG will partner with the Dermatology Association of Rwanda to deliver a surgical mission in underserved communities in the country. While treating the victims, NYDG will also provide on-site technical training to the local dermatologists.