Across many countries in Africa, people with albinism, including children, are attacked and killed due to their skin condition. Since the 1990s, at least 190 people with albinism have been murdered and 300 attacked across 27 African countries, the most in Tanzania.
Facing discrimination and extreme violence, the most pressing health issue by persons with albinism is skin cancer. A report issued by the United Nations in March 2018 indicated that most persons with albinism in sub-Sahara Africa die from skin cancer between the ages of 30 to 40 years.
In 2018, the NYDG Foundation created a partnership with the Tumurere Foundation, a local Rwandan NGO specializing in education and the Rwandan Albinism Society to support 15 teenagers with albinism in northern Rwanda to complete their high school and receive primary health care. We believe its time for philanthropy to be more inclusive to accelerate social good and economic gains for all.
Skin Deep Goals:
- Create community awareness projects to overcome the cultural issues preventing persons with albinism from integrating and being part of inclusive societies
- Increase access to health services for children and youth with albinism
- Provide mobile skin health and eye clinics
- Provide education assistance for kids with albinism to complete primary or secondary school
HUMANITARIAN MEDICAL MISSION
Our missions focus first on people who have been victims of violence and abuse. We recognize the special needs of people who suffer violence. We believe these missions serve to aid in the healing.
In 2018, the NYDG Foundation will partner with the Dermatology Association of Rwanda to deliver a medical mission in underserved communities in the north of country. While treating the victims, NYDG doctors will also provide on-site technical training to the local medical officers.
More than 2 decades after the end of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, healthcare has received vigorous support by the Rwandan Government. 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 on World 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, 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.