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International Albinism Awareness Day celebrated in SA

RECOGNIZING THAT 75 percent of the world’s vision impairment is preventable, the global focus is on encouraging people to get their eyes screened.

Ster-Kinekor’s Vision Mission initiative aims to provide preventative care and treatment to people who would not otherwise have access to this critical service.

Due to the nature of Albinism’s genetic make and because melanin also plays a role in development of the optic nerves, people with albinism most often than not have vision problems.

International Albinism Awareness Day is observed every year on 13th June to honour the human rights of people with albinism all over the world. Albinism is a genetically inherited birth defect that is rare and non-contagious.

Kasie Albinism Foundation, which was founded in 2018 with the goal of advocating for service delivery to people with albinism, is collaborating with Ster- Kinekor’s flagship program, Vision Mission.

The Ster-Kinekor Vision Mission, which was founded in 2005, continues to provide eye care to disadvantaged students, young adults, and the elderly.

In pursuit of the #GiftOfSight the multi-award-winning initiative has enabled healthcare providers to screen over 358 521 disadvantaged learners, with approximately 30% of them receiving follow-up optometric testing.

15 827 People have received spectacles from this initiative thus far.

On the 2nd and 23rd April 2022, Ster Kinekor’s Vision Mission and Kasie Albinism Foundation invited communities from near and far for people living with albinism to join for a free screening, and  46 individuals between the ages for 4 and 57 were identified as recipients of for free spectacles as a result of the screening.

“People with albinism face daily challenges related to academic, social, and emotional concerns,” said Geraldine Engelman, CSI and Transformation, Ster-Kinekor.

According to Freeman of the Kasie Albinism Foundation, the collaboration and work with Ster Kinekor “has so far been the most significant project we have embarked on as an organization.

“This collaboration will help us provide spectacles to those in need in our communities, as vision problems are one of the most difficult challenges for people with albinism.

“This will have a significant impact on our albinism community because it will reduce the number of school dropouts due to kids being bullied at school because they can’t see properly,” he added.

Image (Children at the Ster Kinekor at Carnival City, preparing to watch a movie on International Albinism Awareness Day).

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