Albinism: From Jinja to Gulu, activist rides to deliver sunscreen to over 200 persons with albinism

A human rights activist and former journalist Pat Robert Larubi has taken on the road to deliver the much needed sunscreen for people with albinism across the country on his motor bike. Whisper Eye Reports.

Whisper Eye has learnt that Pat started off his ride from Jinja on Thursday May 28th 2020 ,went through Kayunga, Lugazi, Mukono and part of Wakiso delivering his first batch of sunscreen.

This was followed by another whole day ride from Kampala through Kole, part of Omoro district and finally making it to Gulu district where he made his final stop.

Uganda lockdown came with a number of issues one was the ban on public transport which meant our people could not move nor access the much needed sunscreen, Pat tells Whisper Eye .

I had to device means to reach them because whereas other people cried for food persons with albinism cried for sunscreen because it’s one of the essential they need most to aid their survival” Pat said.

In Gulu, Lukwiya jonathan, a youth with albinism could not hide his excitement when he received his package of sunscreen

Given the fact that most of them leave in remote villages , he opted to take a ride simply to make sure he can access them wherever they are and secondly make sunscreen available and at no cost.

He says 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 sunscreen they are saved from the burden of having to worry about skin cancer.

According to Pat besides giving out the sunscreen the ride was also aimed at creating awareness under the theme #Action4Albinism reaching out to communities when majority of families and people with albinism felt neglected or abandoned to fate.

Mirembe Elizabeth Kwagala of greater Luwero albinos association noted that they used to pick most of the sunscreens from their partners in Kampala and because of the lockdown, they had bear the brunt of the sun and mastered to survive without sunscreen.

Action4Albinism trend

“When Pat called and told me he was delivering sunscreen to the people with albinism under my care, I was moved by his action of riding on a bike all these kilometers and finally he delivered hope for us on his bike. Blessing for his action” – Elizabeth said.

“I last got sunscreen in June of 2019 during a celebration to mark the international albinism day celebrations. I was lucky to have gotten more tins of sunscreen from a colleague who was leaving the country but I equally distributed it to my fellows with albinism. Now this ride by part is on a rescue mission for us to overcome the threats posed by lack of these essentials item” Lukwiya said.

According to Pat has been inspired to ride his back for all these kilometres after wide spread calls and outcry for sunscreen, personal encounter and experience living with persons with albinism given the tough times that the country was going through.

However, this was the first time in a couple of years that Pat was taking such a long ride on his Bajaj Boxer reg number UEQ596P after he crashed with his Honda bike.

“I am not in a rush nor struggle to win a race, it’s a solo travel program so I will take my time on the road for the sake of my safety but also be able to reach safely and deliver the packages I am carrying to their finally destination – I am simply a messenger with a message to take home” Pat said.

Under his social inclusion campaign dubbed “Action4albinism”, Pat is raising awareness on albinism, creating awareness and building a support system for PWA in his solo expedition while are helping redefine lives of those who have been grounded by the impact of COVID-19.