Following the recent Housing and Population Census conducted by National Statistical Office (NSO) has shown that population of Persons with Albinism (PWA) has reached 134, 000.

Before the census, Association of Persons with Albinism (APAM) had been saying that Malawi had about 15, 000 people with albinism.

During the launch of the 2018 Malawi housing and Population (MHPC) comprehensive report in Lilongwe has indicated that people and APAM were all along misled on the number of people with albinism in the country.

Former APAM president, Overstone Kondowe, who is now Chairperson for the African Union for Persons with Albinism, has acknowledged that the number of people with albinism was underestimated.

“This implies that we were under-reporting,” Kondowe said.

Kondowe then said that that with the latest development it means there is more work to be done to reach out to people with albinism in the country.

 “This calls for more advocacy interventions and projects to reach out to the population of PWA Credit to NSO and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for the support to include questions of albinism [in the MHPC],” he said.

The development comes at a time the country has been registering cases of attacks on people with albinism.

In a bid to stem the attacks, the country developed a National Plan of Action on Persons with Albinism, which requires funds amounting to K3.1 billion for implementation.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare announced that it had asked NSO to establish population sizes of PWA to help councils and the government know where persons with albinism live in order to arrange for proper security measures through the 2018 MHPC.

NSO’s comprehensive report indicates that Malawi has 134,636 people with albinism, representing 0.8 percent of the population.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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