Skin cancer prevention and treatment in people with albinism

— Togo —

BACKGROUND

In Togo, where there are only 16 dermatologists to treat a population of 7.6 million, the supply of quality care is extremely limited. Treating people with albinism suffering from skin conditions remains a major challenge, especially in rural areas.

The programme begun in 2019, in partnership with the National Association of Togolese Albinos (ANAT) and the Togolese Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Infections (SOTODERM), is scheduled to continue for three years and encompass 600 people with albinism in 10 cities in the country’s five regions.

Raise awareness about albinism and its consequences

Twenty people with albinism (two per city) are trained by the ANAT and work to raise awareness about the harmful effects of the sun’s rays and how people should protect themselves from sun exposure. During these educational sessions (12 per city), jars of locally produced sunscreen and hats will be distributed. The project will have local ANAT members producing 6,000 jars of sunscreen over a three-year period, to supply each person with six jars per year. The facilitators of these sessions also increase public awareness about albinism to reduce discrimination and violence against people with this condition. This outreach is further backed by a television documentary, radio broadcasts, posters, 4,000 educational brochures for people with albinism and 4,000 flyers for the general public.

Treating skin conditions

In addition to the awareness-raising sessions, five campaigns using free mobile clinics for 25 days each will be carried out over three years. Six hundred people with albinism will be seen and monitored during these campaigns. A medical network will make it possible to refer 220 patients requiring intervention to the two teaching hospitals (CHU) in Lomé and the regional hospital complex (CHR) in Kara for the northern regions (110 for slight lesions/110 for complex lesions). The project will oversee transportation for these people plus a companion for each.

L’ESSENTIEL
_____

Axe
Dermatology

Programme
Since 2019

Intervention method
Distributor and operator

Initiative

  • Raising awareness about and preventing albinism-related skin cancers
  • Local production and free distribution of sunscreen
  • Free medical consultations at mobile clinics in 10 Togolese cities
  • Medical treatment and monitoring of skin lesions in people with albinism

CURRENT STATUS AND FORECAST

500 to 600
people with albinism seen by a medical professional over three years

100
excisional biopsies and/or cryotherapies performed each year

6,000
jars of locally produced sunscreen distributed free of charge

5 regions
Coverage of every region in the country

PARTNERS

TOGOLESE SOCIETY OF DERMATOLOGY AND SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS – SOTODERM

SOTODERM is a scientific, apolitical, independent and not-for-profit association. It is an association governed by Law No. 40 184 of 1 July 1901 and the Decree of 16 August 1901. It is of limited duration.

The association’s mission is to help improve skin health and the treatment of sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS infection (STIs/HIV/AIDS).

Its objectives are to:

  • Bring together all physicians interested in dermatological problems and STI/HIV/AIDS
  • Collect, exchange and disseminate information on the practice, research and teaching of dermatovenereology
  • Promote the training of dermatologists in Togo and Africa
  • Provide continuous training for physicians and paramedics on the treatment of dermatological diseases and STIs/HIV/AIDS
  • Initiate multicentre research activities on the main dermatological conditions of concern in Togo and Africa. 

Learn more: https://sotoderm.org/

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF TOGOLESE ALBINOS – ANAT

The National Association of Togolese Albinos (ANAT) is a humanitarian body dedicated exclusively to protecting and promoting the rights of people with albinism (PAA) in Togo. It was established on 3 March 2012 and designated a developmental NGO in August 2017. The registered offices are in Lomé. ANAT’s vision is to “create a Togo in which all persons with albinism enjoy moral, physical, social and economic well-being and participate fully in the country’s development.

Learn more: https://anattogo.org/

Follow our actions

Publication of an innovative formula for producing a sun protection cream for people with albinism in Africa

Sun protection is still the only medical measure that can be implemented effectively to prevent skin cancer for people with albinism in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Fondation Pierre Fabre in collaboration with the Pierre Fabre Dermo-cosmetic Laboratory and the Pierre Fabre Research Institute makes it available to the international community in a disinterested and supportive manner.

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