A former journalist has embarked on a road trip around the country to provide protective sunscreens to over 200 albinos affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Pat Robert Larubi embarked on the journey last week using a motorbike took off from Jinja through Kayunga, Buikwe, Mukono and Wakiso districts to distribute the first batch of sunscreens to albinos.
He later rode from Kampala to Northern Uganda before he embarks on touring Western Uganda.
“Whereas other people cried for food during the lockdown, the albinos cried for sunscreens because they are needed to aid their survival,”Larubi said.
“The lockdown came with a number of issues including the ban on public transport which meant our people could not move nor access the much needed sunscreens. I had to find means of reaching them.”
The journalist turned activist explained that since most of the albinos live in remote areas of rhe country, sunscreens are not readily available near them hence the need for someone to provide them.
“Because of the lack of pigmentation, people with albinism may develop sores on their skin that could develop into skin cancer and by providing free sunscreens they are saves from the burden of having to worry about skin cancer.”
Larubi adds that apart from providing sunscreens, the journey is aimed at creating awareness under the theme #Action4Albinism aimed at reaching out to communities where people with albinism seem not to be catered for.
“The lockdown had posed a very big challenge for people with albinism as their basic right of access health care services had been put to a halt with a ban to public transport,” he adds.
According to Elizabeth Mirembe Kwagala from the Greater Luwero Albinos Association, they used to pick sunscreens from their partners in Kampala but because of the lockdown, they could no longer be able to get them.
She says albinos in her area had to bear sunshine as they mastered to survive without sunscreens.
“This is a ray of hope after our partner, Larubi delivered the much needed protective gears,”Mirembe says.
However, Larubi says he was encouraged to pick a motorbike to traverse the country after outcries from all over the country by albinos on what they were going through without sunscreens.
He has hope that with the drive, he can create awareness about albinism and build support for people with disabilities who have been affected by Coronavirus.