The First Fiji Albinism Awareness Symposium

On the 12th and 13th August 2015 an amazing thing happened in Suva Fiji. The First Fiji Albinism Awareness Symposium. The goal of this  symposium was to use the knowledge and experience of the people within the forum to raise awareness around the needs of people with albinism across health, education and special needs sectors and also to increase public awareness. The programme included sessions on health, education and advocacy by both Fijian and Australian presenters. Over 170 people registered with more than 140 attending each day. This highly successful symposium was proved by using pre and post questionaires and an evaluation form which the delegates filled in. The results of which showed a significant increase in knowledge of albinism.

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What is Albinism? Albinism is an inherited condition which causes lack of pigmentation in the skin, eyes and hair. It causes a very high risk of skin cancers and usually poor vision. It can also cause stigma and isolation due to lack of understanding. People with albinism are of normal intelligence, if their low vision problems are addressed and they look after their skin they can lead fully active and productive lives.

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I would like to thank the team who have worked tirelessly since the first workshop back in November 2014 with 34 attendees, look how far we have come in such a short period of time. I am so proud to have been part of this group which has allowed me to make such a significant difference to people lives with albinism.

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