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Special factor 50 protects albinos against radiation

Dr Peter Stoermer (second from right), the chairman of the albino support organisation, SINASRA, with one of its board members, Paulus Johannes, (front right) and Dr Peggy Emvula (second from left) of the Ministry of Health and Social Services, at the event where Carina Sowden (left) of Ohorongo Cement presented SINASRA with over 1200 tubes of specialised sunblock cream.

“Support in Namibia of Albinism Sufferers Requiring Assistance” or better known under its acronym, SINASRA, last week received 1250 tubes of special sunblocker that will be distributed to albinos across the country through the clinics of the Ministry of Health and Social Services. The sunblock cream was donated by the Ohorongo Otavi Community Trust in collaboration with Support e.V. from Ulm in Germany. The donation, valued at N$18,000 was handed to Dr Peggy Emvula at the Windhoek Central Hospital Oncology Department. Albinos are particularly exposed to skin cancer as they lack protection against solar radiation. Dr Peter Stoermer of SINASRA said they are very grateful for the donation, as these specialized sunscreens are very expensive. He explained that it was initially developed for the German Defense Force to be light on the skin, but to provide all day protection. 

Speaking on behalf of Ohorongo Cement, their Marketing and Communications Manager, Carina Sowden, said “the reason why the Ohorongo Otavi Community Trust decided to support SINASRA is the fact that they have the necessary manpower, know-how, knowledge and dedication to ensure that these sunscreens are distributed throughout Namibia to benefit the entire Namibian Albino Community.” “According to a census in 2011, there are an estimated number of more than 1600 Albino’s in Namibia. However, we reckon there are many more Albinos in the rural areas who we are not even aware of. They need specialized sunscreen due to the very sensitive nature of their skin to prevent them from developing skin cancer,” said Dr Stoermer. “We are going to donate the sunscreen to all the hospitals throughout the country and it will be available free of charge to the Albino Community,’’ he said.  Dr Emvula said the local Albino Community is familiar with the fact that they can obtain the sunscreen, protective clothing, hats and other protection from the Windhoek Central Hospital Oncology Centre.  “For those in the North, we take some of the items and sunscreens along and distribute it there when we visit to assist those  who cannot afford to travel all the way to Windhoek,” she said.  “We are very happy to be able to make a difference in the lives of people and it gives us true peace of mind knowing that people like Dr Stoermer and Dr Emvula are equipped to ensure that the entire Namibian Albino Community benefits from this donation,” said Sowden.

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