Nigerian Albinos lament rise in skin cancer due to climate change

    The Association of Albinism in Kaduna State has expressed deep concern over the rising incidence of skin cancer and its devastating effects on the well-being of people with albinism.

    An alarming rise in skin cancer has threatened the lives of albinos in Africa as the Conference of the Parties (COP28) is set to address climate change’s impact.

    The 28th session of the COP at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is underway in Dubai, UAE, where concerns about the alarming impact of extreme heat on vulnerable communities will be raised.

    In an interview with journalists on Sunday, Abubakar Adam, the chairman of the association in Kaduna, said that in the arid regions of West Africa, including Kaduna, the lives of millions of individuals with albinism were increasing threat due to the harsh weather conditions.

    Mr Adam revealed the dire consequences of climate change on albinos while lamenting the recent loss of three people with albinism in the state.

    “Two albinos in Kajuru Local Government and one in Zaria died, and the deaths were 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.

    “We are witnessing an increase in skin-related illnesses, adding to the challenges of our already difficult lives,” Mr Adam said.

    He said the association has launched an ongoing campaign to educate the parents of children with albinism in the state.

    Mr Adam explained that the association 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,” he lamented.

    The chairman highlighted the need for protective measures against the harsh effects of climate change.

    Also, in an interview with Ibrahima Yakubu, the spokesperson of an NGO, African Climate Reporters, stated they would, in collaboration with the African Institutes of Waste and Environmental Studies and other scientific institutions, organise a sensitisation campaign in the state.