National Agency for Albinism gets nod from reps

File Photo of a Nigerian albino supported to get treatment by the Nigeria Albino Foundation

By Kemi Yesufu, Abuja

The House of Representatives on Wednesday in the Committee of the Whole considered and adopted the report of the House Committee on Health Institutions on a Bill for an Act to establish the National Agency for Albinism and Hypo- Pigmentation and other related matters.

The committee report was on two consolidated bills viz: A bill for an act to establish the National Agency for Albinism and Hypo- Pigmentation (NAAH) and other related matters, sponsored by Rep. Linus Okorie ; and A bill for an Act to to provide for the establishment of a National Centre for Research, Management and Control of Autism, Down Syndrome and for other related matters, sponsored byย  Rep. Jerry Alagbaoso.

Chairperson of the Committee, Rep. Betty Apiafi said during the public hearing on the two bills, there was a consensus reached by stakeholders.

” It was agreed that instead of creating two agencies for these special needs cases in the two bills, it would serve Nigerians better and would be more functional and effective if the agency that is to be established encompasses not only Albinism and Hypo-Pigmentation, Autism and Down Syndrome, but all other special needs cases present in the country”, she said.

Rep. Betty Apiafi

According to the consolidated bill, the new agency would have different departments to cater for the needs of various persons medically diagnosed to have any such disorders that require special attention.

The bill states that the departments in the new agency will include: The Department of Neurological Deficit Disorders: the department would be responsible for persons with Downs Syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Hydrocephalus/Neural tube disorder and any other related disorders as diagnosed by doctors.

The Department of Hereditary Blood Disorders:ย  the Department would be responsible for persons afflicted with Sickle Cell Disorders, Thalassemia, Haemophilia and other relatedย  disorders as diagnosed by medical experts;

The Department of Albinism and Related Disorders: the department would be responsible for persons inflicted with Albinism and any other related disorders as diagnosed by Medical experts;

The Department of Non-Communicable Chronic Skin Disorders: the department would be responsible for persons afflicted with Psoriasis, Vitiligo, Lupus, Scleroderma, Sever Atopic Dermatitis, Lamellar Ichthyosis and any other related disorders as diagnosed by Medical experts;

The agency, in the Committee recommendation is charged with the responsibility of initiating projects and programmes aimed at improving the Social, Economic, Mental and Physical wellbeing of persons medically diagnosed with disorders that require special attention in the country.

It is also to carry out research with relevant bodies with a view of developing a cure or better ways of treating / managing such disorders.

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